ABI Shows No Significant Improvement in Business
June 24, 2009
While there has been a recent moderation in the downturn in design
services billings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reveals
that an economic recovery has stalled. As a leading economic indicator
of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine-
to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI
rating was 42.9, nearly identical to the 42.8 mark in April. This
score still indicates an overall decline in demand for design services
(any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new
projects inquiry score was 55.2, the third straight month with a
score in the mid-50s.
"The design and construction marketplace is extremely competitive
right now," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon.
AIA. "Prospective clients are casting a wider net causing numerous
firms to bid for the same project, which is why the high level of
inquiries is not necessarily translating into additional billings
for project work at many firms."
Key May ABI highlights:
- Regional averages: Northeast (48.3), Midwest (41.5), South
(41.3), West (39.4)
- Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (45.5), mixed
practice (44.5), commercial/industrial (43.1), institutional (38.0)
- Project inquiries index: 55.2
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