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Still Showing Weakness, ABI Increases Slightly

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Construction & Renovation

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on August 18, 2010 with No Comments

Following a two-month soft patch, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose almost two full points in July. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the July ABI score was 47.9, up from a reading of 46.0 the previous month. This score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index dropped substantially from 57.7 to 53.1.

Key July ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (47.9), Northeast (47.2), Midwest (46.7), West (45.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (50.4), institutional (47.9), multi-family residential (47.5), mixed practice (42.9)
  • Project inquiries index: 53.1

“Business conditions at design firms remain quite volatile,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “While this recent uptick is encouraging, this state of the industry is likely to persist for a while as we continue to receive a mixed bag of feedback on the condition of the design market from improving to flat to being paralyzed by uncertainty.”

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at schwartz@groupc.com.

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