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AIA Billings Index Grows for Fifth Straight Month

Written by Sandy Williams

Written by: Sandy Williams

The Architecture Billings Index showed growth for the fifth straight month in December. The American Institute of Architects reported the ABI score at 52, down slightly from 53.2 in November. The ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The score reflects an increase in demand for design services with any score above 50 indicating an increase in billing.

Interest in building continues to grow with project inquiries coming in at 59.4—the 47th straight month above the 50 mark.

While it’s not an across the board recovery, we are hearing a much more positive outlook in terms of demand for design services,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Moving into 2013 we are expecting this trend to continue and conditions improve at a slow and steady rate. That said, we remain concerned that continued uncertainty over the outcomes of budget sequestration and the debt ceiling could impact further economic growth.

December improvement was greatest in the Northeast and Midwest regions at 53.1 and 55.7, respectively. The South had its sixth straight month above neutral and was reported at 51.2, slightly down from November. The West remained unchanged from November at 49.6.

Commercial billings outdid other sectors for the first time since April earning a score of 53.4. Multifamily residential billings were at 50.5 and have been above the 50 mark for 18 of the past 24 month. Mixed practice billings were at 53.0 and institutional billings were at 50.9 for the fifth consecutive month.

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