Architecture Billings Index Reaches Near Record Level
Up slightly from the 59.3 mark in June, the Architecture Billings
Index (ABI) in July reached the second highest mark since the survey's
inception in 1995. The ABI shows an approximate nine to twelve month
lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the July ABI
rating was 60.0 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings),
and inquiries for new projects was 66.2.
"The good news for the construction industry based around high
levels of demand for architectural services is tempered somewhat
by nervousness in the lending market based around the collapse of
the subprime mortgage sector," says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker,
Ph.D., Hon. AIA. "While the credit markets for nonresidential projects
will most likely return to normal, there is a sense that some construction
projects may be delayed until financing anxiety is settled. We will
be monitoring this situation closely over the next couple of months."
Key July ABI highlights include:
- The regional average for Northeast - 68.5, West - 60.7, Midwest
- 55.9 and South - 57.2;
- The sector index breakdown for commercial/industrial - 65.2,
institutional - 61.0, mixed practice - 58.0 and residential -
- The billings inquiries index was 66.2.