After Some Encouraging Signs, Architecture Billings Index Drops Substantially Print
Saturday, 23 January 2010 07:52

High level of inquires for new projects, but competitive marketplace is adversely impacting billings

Following its highest mark since August 2008, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped more than three points in November. 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. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the November ABI rating was 42.8, down from 46.1 in October.  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 58.5, the same mark as in October.
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“There continues to be a lot of uncertainty in the construction industry that likely will delay new projects in the near future,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Perhaps the President’s plan calling for loans for small business, funding for infrastructure projects and rebates for homeowners making energy efficient improvements will help speed a recovery in the construction industry.”

Key November ABI highlights:

Regional averages: South (46.4), Northeast (45.0),  Midwest (43.7), West (41.1)
Sector index breakdown: institutional (47.0), multi-family residential (45.8), mixed practice (42.8), commercial / industrial (40.7),
Project inquiries index: 58.5

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