AIA Billings Index Results Good News for Steel Industry
The American Institute of Architects reported there all important Billings Index this morning which remained above 50.0 at 50.9. This continues to be good news for the steel industry as the weakest steel-using sector is construction. According to the AIA Billings Index their member companies are doing more work preparing for new residential and commercial construction jobs which should hit the market 9-12 months in the future.
Washington, D.C. – February 22, 2012 – On the heels of consecutive months of strengthening business conditions, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has now reached positive territory three 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 January ABI score was 50.9, following a mark of 51.0* in December. 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 61.2, down just a notch from a reading of 61.5 the previous month.
* Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.
“Even though we had a similar upturn in design billings in late 2010 and early 2011, this recent showing is encouraging because it is being reflected across most regions of the country and across the major construction sectors,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But because we still continue to hear about struggling firms and some continued uncertainly in the market, we expect that overall economic improvements in the design and construction sector to be modest in the coming months.”
Key January ABI highlights:
Regional averages: Midwest (53.7), South (51.6), Northeast (50.7), West (45.6) Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (52.6), commercial / industrial (52.2), institutional (51.1), mixed practice (46.1)
Project inquiries index: 61.2
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers. (Source: American Institute of Architects)