The Architecture Billings Index made a slight gain in February, posting a score of 50.3 after falling to 49.6 in January. The score above 50 indicates a minor increase in design services for the month.
The new projects inquiry index was 59.4, up from 59.3 the previous month. The design contract index was 51.7.
“March and April are traditionally the busiest months for architecture firms, so we should get a clearer reading of underlying momentum over the next couple of months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Hopefully the relatively mild weather conditions recently in most parts of the country will help design and construction activity move ahead at a somewhat faster pace.”
The regional and sector breakdowns were as follows:
Regional averages: South (51.1), West (49.9), Northeast (49.5), Midwest (49.3)
Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.0), commercial/industrial (52.3), institutional (48.1), mixed practice (47.7).
Below is a graph showing the history of the Architecture Billings Index and Inquiries Index. You will need to view the graph on our website to use its interactive features; you can do so by clicking here. If you need assistance with either logging in or navigating the website, please contact our office at 800-432-3475 or info@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
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.
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