Architecture Billings Index Reaches Highest Mark in More Than Two Years
May 19, 2010

For the third straight month the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has gone up. 

As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
 
AIA reports that the April ABI rating was 48.5, up from a reading of 46.1 the previous month.  Although this score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), it is the highest score since January 2008 when revenue at architecture firms headed into recession. The new projects inquiry index was 59.6. 

 “It appears that the design and construction industry may be nearing an actual recovery phase,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The economic landscape is improving, although not across the board, but doing so at a gradual pace. It is quite possible that we will finally see positive business conditions in the foreseeable future.”

Key April ABI highlights include: 

  • Regional averages: Northeast - 51.0; Midwest - 49.2; South - 46.5; and West - 44.7
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial - 48.5; mixed practice - 48.4; institutional - 46.8; and multi-family residential - 45.8
  • Project inquiries index: 59.6

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