US ABI Ends 2015 on Positive Note

16:00 - 20 January, 2016
December 2015 ABI. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com
December 2015 ABI. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Despite a few volatile months, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) concluded 2015in positive terrain. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 50.9, up from the mark of 49.3 in the previous month. This score reflects a slight increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.2, up from a reading of 58.6 the previous month.

“As has been the case for the past several years, there continues to be a mix of business conditions that architecture firms are experiencing,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “Overall, however, ABIscores for 2015 averaged just below the strong showing in 2014, which points to another healthy year for construction this year.”

November ABI Takes Another Hit

12:00 - 16 December, 2015
November ABI 2015. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com
November ABI 2015. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has dipped again, this time falling from a mark of 53.1 in October to 49.3 in November. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, "this score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicated an increase in billings)." The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, up just a nudge from a reading of 58.5 the previous month. 

“Since architecture firms continue to report that they are bringing in new projects, this volatility in billings doesn’t seem to reflect any underlying weakness in the construction sector,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “Rather, it could reflect the uncertainty of moving ahead with projects given the continued tightness in construction financing and the growing labor shortage problem gripping the entire design and construction industries.”

October ABI Remains on Solid Ground

16:00 - 19 November, 2015
October ABI 2015. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com
October ABI 2015. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

As reported by the AIA, this month's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has shown a slight reduction in construction growth in October, dropping by 0.6 points from September's mark of 53.7, but still in solid positive territory at 53.1. The Project Inquiries Index also dropped for the third straight month, falling to 58.5.

“Allowing for the possibility of occasional and minor backsliding, we expect healthy business conditions for the design and construction industry to persist moving into next year,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “One area of note is that the multi-family project sector has come around the last two months after trending down for the better part of the year.”

September ABI Returns to Positive Territory

12:00 - 21 October, 2015
September ABI 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com
September ABI 2015 . Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After a slight contraction in August, the September Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to positive territory. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports, the September ABI score was 53.7, up from a mark of 49.1. The new projects inquiry index was 61.0, down from a reading of 61.8 the previous month.

“Aside from uneven demand for design services in the Northeast, all regions are project sectors are in good shape,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Areas of concern are shifting to supply issues for the industry, including volatility in building materials costs, a lack of a deep enough talent pool to keep up with demand, as well as a lack of contractors to execute design work.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break. 

August ABI Contracts Slightly

13:30 - 23 September, 2015
August 2015. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com
August 2015. Image © CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) declined in August, following fairly healthy business conditions so far this year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 49.1, down from a mark of 54.7 in July. The new projects inquiry index was 61.8, down from a reading of 63.7 the previous month.

“Over the past several years, a period of sustained growth in billings has been followed by a temporary step backwards,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that project inquiries and new design contracts continue to grow at a healthy pace suggests that this should not be a cause for concern throughout the design and construction industry.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break. 

July ABI Remains Strong

14:19 - 19 August, 2015
June 2015. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
June 2015. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has reported a "healthy and sustained" Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for the month of July. Though slightly down from a mark of 55.7 in June, the July ABI score was 54.7, reflecting an increase in design serves within the US. The new projects inquiry index was 63.7, up slightly from a reading of 63.4 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights and foresight from the AIA Chief Economist, after the break. 

ABI Jumps Four Points in June, Equals Highest Mark Since 2007

16:00 - 23 July, 2015
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After demonstrating a modest increase in demand for design services last month, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for June showed its largest single-month jump in almost four years, rising to 55.7 and falling just a tenth of a point short of matching its post-recession high of 55.8 in June of last year. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports, the increased demand has been spurred by schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings, as the index for the institutional sector rose to a mark of 59.1.

A breakdown of regional and sector highlights, after the break.

ABI Rebounds into Positive Territory

12:15 - 24 June, 2015
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After two months of a decreasing demand for design services, the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has bounced back into positive territory. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, May's ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. The new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from a reading of 60.1 the previous month. This growth was lead by a growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

ABI Slows in April

15:15 - 20 May, 2015
April ABI 2015. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
April ABI 2015. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

For the second month this year, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has revealed a decrease in design serves. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) report, the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity. However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

March ABI Continues to Increase

13:30 - 22 April, 2015
March 2015 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
March 2015 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

For the second consecutive month, the US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has indicated a "modest increase" in design activity in March. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 51.7, up from a mark of 50.4 in February. The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, up from a reading of 56.6 the previous month.

“Business conditions at architecture firms generally are quite healthy across the country. However, billings at firms in the Northeast were set back with the severe weather conditions, and this weakness is apparent in the March figures,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The multi-family residential market has seen its first occurrence of back-to-back negative months for the first time since 2011, while the institutional and commercial sectors are both on solid footing.”

February ABI Reports "Nominal Increase" in Design Activity

19:00 - 18 March, 2015
February 2015 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
February 2015 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to a healthy state, recovering from its first negative score in ten months. Showing a "nominal increase" in design activity, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported February's ABI at a score of 50.4, up from a mark of 49.9 in January. The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from a reading of 58.7 the previous month.

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

January ABI Falls into the Red

01:00 - 18 February, 2015
January 2015 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
January 2015 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

After nine consecutive months of growth, January’s Architecture Billing Index (ABI) reported a “softening” in US design activity. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the January ABI score was 49.9, down from a mark of 52.7 in December. This score reflects a “very modest decrease” in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.7, down from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

“This easing in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market over the past nine months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Likely some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions in January. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

AIA Says December ABI Closed 2014 on "Solid Footing"

01:00 - 21 January, 2015
December 2014 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
December 2014 ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Rising from a score of 50.9 to 52.2 in December, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) closed 2014 on "solid footing." As reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), design services continued to increase throughout the majority of last year and all regions, except the Northeast, experienced favorable conditions. 

“Business conditions continue to be the strongest at architecture firms in the South and the Western regions,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Particularly encouraging is the continued solid upturn in design activity at institutional firms, since public sector facilities were the last nonresidential building project type to recover from the downturn.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

November ABI Continues to Drop

01:00 - 17 December, 2014
November ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
November ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

While the US Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has remained positive for seven consecutive months, the score continues to slowly drop and is now teetering on the edge of falling into the red. As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) says, any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services. However, November's ABI score was 50.9, down from the mark of 53.7 in October, revealing a drop in demand. The new projects inquiry index was 58.8, following a mark of 62.7 the previous month.

“Demand for design services has slowed somewhat from the torrid pace of the summer, but all project sectors are seeing at least modest growth,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Architecture firms are expecting solid mid-single digit gains in revenue for 2014, but heading into 2015, they are concerned with finding quality contractors for projects, coping with volatile construction materials costs and with finding qualified architecture staff for their firms.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

October ABI Reveals Decrease in Demand for Design Services

01:00 - 19 November, 2014
October ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
October ABI. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Demand for design services in the US has slowed. According to the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the October ABI score was 53.7, down from a mark of 55.2 in September, and the new projects inquiry index fell to 62.7. Despite this, the demand is still considered “healthy” with the South showing the strongest regional conditions.

“Though it has been slow in emerging, we’re finally seeing some momentum develop in design activity for nonprofits and municipal governments, and as such we’re seeing a new round of activity in the institutional sector,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It will be interesting to see if and how the results of the mid-term Congressional and gubernatorial elections impact this developing momentum.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

September ABI Indicates Robust Conditions for US

00:00 - 22 October, 2014
September 2014. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
September 2014. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) has indicated a “heightened level of demand for design services” throughout the US. As the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reports, all regions and project sectors have shown positive conditions and the September score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August. The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, following a mark of 62.6 the previous month.

“Strong demand for apartment buildings and condominiums has been one of the main drivers in helping to keep the design and construction market afloat in recent years,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There continues to be a healthy market for those types of design projects, but the recently resurgent Institutional sector is leading to broader growth for the entire construction industry.” 

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.

August ABI Remains Strong

00:00 - 24 September, 2014
August 2014. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
August 2014. Image via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

Demand for design services in the US continue to increase, as momentum from July’s highest recorded strength since 2007 continues. The American Institute of Architects reported the August Architecture Billings Index (ABI) at 53.0, down from July’s mark of 55.8, and the new projects inquiry at 62.6.

“One of the key triggers for accelerating growth at architecture firms is that long-stalled construction projects are starting to come back to life in many areas across the country,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Long awaited access to credit from lending institutions and an increasing comfort level in the overall economy has helped revitalize the commercial real estate sector in recent months. Additionally, though, a crucial component to a broader industry-wide recovery is the emerging demand for new projects such as education facilities, government buildings and, in some cases, hospitals.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…

US ABI Hits Highest Level Since 2007

00:00 - 21 August, 2014
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com
via CalculatedRiskBlog.com

The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reached 55.8 in July  - its highest level since 2007. The score reflects what has been a steadily increasing demand for design services over the past three months, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports. The AIA’s new projects inquiry and design contracts indexes were also strong at 66 and 54.9, respectively.

“Business conditions for the design and construction marketplace, and those industries associated with it, appear to be well-positioned for continued growth in the coming months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The key to a more widespread boost in design activity continues to be the institutional sector which is starting to exhibit signs of life after languishing for the better part of the last five-plus years.”

A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…

Regional Averages: