AIA: Architecture Billings Index increases, Strongest Growth since 2007

With increasing demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index  (ABI) is continuing to strengthen.  As a leading economic indicator of  construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag  time between architecture billings and construction spending.  The American  Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 54.9,  up slightly from a mark of 54.2 in January.  This score reflects a  strong increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an  increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, higher  than the reading of 63.2 the previous month – and its highest mark since January  2007.
Conditions have been strengthening in all regions  and construction sectors for the last several months,” said AIA Chief  Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.  “Still, we also continue to hear a mix  of business  conditions in the marketplace as this hesitant recovery continues to unfold.”
• Regional averages: Northeast (56.7), Midwest (54.7), West (54.7),  South (52.7)
• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (60.9),  mixed practice (56.9), commercial / industrial (53.3), institutional (50.7)

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