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Architecture Billings Index Continues Positive Momentum

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Construction & Renovation, FacilityBlog, New Facilities Construction, Topics

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Published on January 19, 2011 with No Comments

On the heels of its highest mark since 2007, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) jumped more than two points in December. 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 December ABI score was 54.2, up from a reading of 52.0 the previous month. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up slightly from a mark of 61.4 in November.

“This is more promising news that the design and construction industry is continuing to move toward a recovery,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. However, historically December is the most unpredictable month from a business standpoint, and therefore the most difficult month from which to interpret a trend. The coming quarter will give us a much better sense of the strength of the apparent upturn in design activity. ”

Key December ABI highlights:
Regional averages: Northeast (55.3), South (54.8), Midwest (52.9), West (48.4)
Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (60.1), commercial/industrial (52.7), institutional (50.6), mixed practice (47.8)
Project inquiries index: 62.6

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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