ABI Dips, But Growth in Construction Continues

Written by Sandy Williams

The latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) slipped to 53.7 in October from 55.2 in September but shows continued strength in multi-family residential construction as well as growth for institutional construction projects.  Demand for architectural design services was highest in the South and contracted sharply in the Northeast. The new projects inquiry index was 62.7, following a score of 64.8 the previous month.

The ABI, produced by the American Institute of Architects, reflects the nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending, with any score above 50 indicating growth. 

“Though it has been slow in emerging, we’re finally seeing some momentum develop in design activity for nonprofits and municipal governments, and as such we’re seeing a new round of activity in the institutional sector,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It will be interesting to see if and how the results of the mid-term Congressional and gubernatorial elections impact this developing momentum.” 

The regional and sector ABI highlights (calculated as a 3-month moving average) are as follows:

• Regional averages: South (58.4), West (56.1), Midwest (54.4), Northeast (47.0)
• Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (56.9), multi-family residential (54.7), institutional (54.4), commercial / industrial (52.3)
• Project inquiries index: 62.7
• Design contracts index: 56.4

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{amchart id=”64″ AIA ABI Index}

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