Slight Contraction for Architecture Billings Index Contracts Slightly

AIAAfter six months of steadily increasing demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) paused in November.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the November ABI score was 49.8, down from a mark of 51.6 in October.  This score reflects a slight decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 57.8, down from the reading of 61.5 the previous month.

Key November ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (52.0), Midwest (51.6), West (50.2), Northeast (47.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (55.2), mixed practice (53.1), commercial / industrial (48.6), institutional (47.7)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.8

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Architecture Billings Index stays in growth mode

AIAThe Architecture Billings Index (ABI) remained positive again in June after the first decline in ten months in April.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 51.6, down from a mark of 52.9 in May.  This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up sharply from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.
“With steady demand for design work in all major nonresidential building categories, the construction sector seems to be stabilizing,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  “Threats to a sustained recovery include construction costs and labor availability, inability to access financing for real estate projects, and possible adverse effects in the coming months from sequestration and the looming federal debt ceiling debate.”

Key June ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (55.6), South (54.8),  West (51.2), Midwest (48.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.7), multi-family residential (54.0), mixed practice (52.4), institutional (51.8)
  •  Project inquiries index: 62.6

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Architecture Billings Index Rebounds

AIAFollowing the first reversal into negative territory in ten months in April, the Architecture Billings Index has bounced back in May. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 52.9, up dramatically from a mark of 48.6 in April. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.1, up slightly from the reading of 58.5 the previous month.

Key May ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (53.7), West (52.1), South (50.9), Midwest (47.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (52.8), institutional (52.2), mixed practice (51.0), commercial / industrial (47.5)
  • Project inquiries index: 59.1

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Architecture Billings Index Signals Gains for Fourth Straight Month

AIAThe latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) shows that billings at architecture firms across the country continue to increase. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the November ABI score was 53.2, up from the mark of 52.8 in October. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.6, up slightly from the 59.4 mark of the previous month.

Key November ABI highlights

  • Regional averages:
    • Northeast (56.3)
    • Midwest (54.4)
    • South (51.1)
    • West (49.6)
  • Sector index breakdown:
    • multi-family residential (55.9)
    • mixed practice (53.9)
    • commercial/industrial (52.0)
    • institutional (50.5)
  • Project inquiries index: 59.6

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

High demand for rental housing raises Architecture Billings Index

AIA

Billings at architecture firms in September increased at their fastest pace since late 2010. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 51.6, up from the mark of 50.2 in August. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.3, compared to a mark of 57.2 the previous month.

Key September ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: West (53.4), South (51.9), Northeast (49.5), Midwest (47.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.3), institutional (51.0), commercial / industrial (48.4), mixed practice (47.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.3

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Weak market conditions persist

AIAThe Architecture Billings Index (ABI) saw more poor conditions last month, indicating a drop in design activity at U.S. architecture firms, and suggesting upcoming weakness in spending on nonresidential construction projects. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 45.9, nearly identical to the mark of 45.8 in May. This score reflects a decrease in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 54.4, up slightly from mark of 54.0 the previous month.

Key June ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (48.0), South (47.6), Northeast (46.4), West (44.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (49.0), commercial / industrial (46.9), institutional (46.0), mixed practice (45.9)
  • Project inquiries index: 54.4

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Positive conditions persist for Architecture Billings Index

The commercial sector continues to lead the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) which has remained in positive territory for the fifth consecutive month.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 50.4, following a mark of 51.0 in February.  This score reflects a slight increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from mark of 63.4 the previous month.

Key March ABI highlights:

Regional averages:

  • Midwest (54.1)
  • Northeast (53.9)
  • South (50.1)
  • West (46.6)

Sector index breakdown:

  • commercial / industrial (56.0)
  • multi-family residential (51.9)
  • institutional (47.7)
  • mixed practice (47.2)

Project inquiries index: 56.6

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

ABI remains positive for fourth straight month

Led by the commercial sector, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has remained in positive territory four months in a row.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 51.0, following a mark of 50.9 in January.  This score reflects a slight increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 63.4, up from mark of 61.2 the previous month and its highest reading since July 2007.

Key February ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (56.0), South (51.3),  Northeast (51.0), West (45.6)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (55.1), multi-family residential (53.3),institutional (50.3), mixed practice (46.3)
  • Project inquiries index: 63.4

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Architecture Billings Index Positive for Second Straight Month

AIAAfter showing struggling business conditions for most of 2011, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has now been positive for two consecutive months.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.  The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 52.0, following the exact same mark in November.  This score reflects an overall increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 64.0, down just a point from a reading of 65.0 the previous month.

Key December ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (54.2),  Midwest (53.1), Northeast (52.6), West (45.1)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (54.3), commercial / industrial (54.1),institutional (51.3), mixed practice (44.5)
  • Project inquiries index: 64.0

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Architecture Billings Index Moves Upward

AIAAfter a sharp dip in September, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) climbed nearly three points in October. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI score was 49.4, following a score of 46.9 in September. This score reflects an overall decrease in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.3, up from a reading of 54.3 the previous month.

Key October ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (51.7), South (49.1), Midwest (47.7), West (43.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (53.5), multi-family residential (51.3),institutional (47.3), mixed practice (42.0)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.3

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending on the AIA web site.