AIA’s Architecture Billings Index Shows Positive Signals

The
Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for October reached its highest level since
August 2008, according to the
AIA. This came amidst a continued high level of
inquiries for new projects. October’s ABI rating was 46.1, up significantly
from 43.1 in September. And while any score below 50 still indicates a decline
in demand for design services, the new projects inquiry score was 58.5,
slightly down from 59.1 in September.

 

Comments
from the AIA’s chief economist Kermit Baker, PhD., Hon. AIA were guardedly
optimistic. “This news could prove to be an early signal towards a recovery for
the design and construction industry,” he said. “On the other hand, because we
continue to get reports of architecture firms struggling in a competitive
marketplace with a continued decline in commercial property values, it is far
too early to think we are out of the woods.”

 

Here’s
the breakdown:

       Regional
averages: South (46.1), Northeast (44.3),  Midwest (43.0), West (42.8)

       Sector
index breakdown: institutional (48.7), multi-family residential (45.4),
commercial / industrial (41.7), mixed practice (39.1)

       Project
inquiries index: 58.5

As
a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate
nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction
spending.

 

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