The billings index is our industry’s leading indicator of construction activity, and for March, the commercial sector is continuing its positive run with a score of 56.0. Although scores above 50 reflect a positive showing, the new projects inquiry dropped to 56.6 from a high 63.4 reported in February. “We are starting to hear more about improving conditions in the marketplace, with a greater sense of optimism that there will be greater demand for design services,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But that is not across the board and there are still a number of architecture firms struggling so progress is likely to be measured in inches rather than miles for the next few months.” Regionally, the Midwest leads with 54.1, following by the Northeast, South and West with scores of 53.9, 50.1 and 46.6, respectively.
While the five month run seems to show promising conditions, the index is barely above the cutoff score of 50 and conditions have remained volatile throughout this post recession period. And, although we enjoying sharing the statistics, we understand the numbers don’t tell the whole story, so we would like to hear how your firms are fairing. Have your projects included an increase in commercial programs recently? Let us know in the comments below.