Architecture Billings Index Surges Nearly Three Points

After three consecutive months of modest growth, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), an economic indicator of construction activity, revealed a spike in design activity. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI was 55.0 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), up from the 52.6 mark in April. With an approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending, the forecast for the nonresidential construction market remains favorable throughout 2007 and into early 2008.

"This is second highest mark of the year behind January's score of 57.9," says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "Activity in the West is accelerating rapidly and all nonresidential construction sectors are experiencing an extended upturn."

The ABI reports the ABI in the West at 58.0, 53.6 in the Northeast, 53.3 in the South and 51.8 for the Midwest.

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