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Modest Rebound in AIA’s Architecture Billings Index



Following a drop of nearly three points, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) nudged up to 44.8 in February, up from a reading of 42.5 in January, reports the American Institute of Architects (AIA).


Following a drop of nearly three points, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) nudged up to 44.8 in February, up from a reading of 42.5 in January, reports the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

This score indicates a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 52.0.

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

“We continue to hear that funding dedicated for construction projects in the stimulus package has not yet been awarded, resulting in a bottleneck of potential projects that could help jumpstart the economy,” says Kermit Baker, AIA chief economist. “That, coupled with a persistently rigid credit market for private sector projects, is a key reason why the design and construction industry continue to suffer at near historic levels in terms of job losses.”

Key February ABI highlights:

Regional averages:
Midwest (49.4)
Northeast (44.1)
West (43.6)
South (40.7)
    
Sector index breakdown:
Multi-family Residential (47.3)
Institutional (44.2)
Mixed Practice (43.3)
Commercial / Industrial (43.2)

The ABI is derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group.
posted on 3/25/2010

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