Modest Rebound in Architecture Billings Index
March 24, 2010
Following a drop of nearly three points, the Architecture Billings
Index (ABI) nudged up almost two points in February. As an economic
indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate
nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction
spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the
February ABI rating was 44.8, up from a reading of 42.5 in January.
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.
"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 AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon.
AIA. "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),
- Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (47.3), institutional
(44.2), mixed practice (43.3), commercial / industrial (43.2);
- Project inquiries index: 52.0
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