The US Architecture Billings Index (ABI) continued showing significant improvement in June, jumping to 53.5 from 52.6 in May, and hitting new records in the Projects Inquiry and Design Contracts indexes.
As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports, the new Projects Inquiry Index surged to 66.4, its highest level in the year to date. In addition, the AIA’s new Design Contracts Index hit 55.7 - its highest mark since the indictor starting being measured in October 2010.
“The recent surge in both design contracts and general inquiries for new projects by prospective clients is indicative of a sustainable strengthening across the construction marketplace,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With the first positive reading since last summer in billings at institutional firms, it appears that design activity for all major segments of the building industry is growing. The challenge now for architecture firms seems to be finding the right balance for staffing needs to meet increasing demand.”
A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break…
- Midwest (56.3)
- South (53.9)
- Northeast (51.1)
- West (48.7)
Sector Index Breakdown:
- Multi-family residential (57.7)
- Mixed Practice (53.8)
- Commercial/industrial (53.1)
- Institutional (50.2)
Key June ABI Highlights:
- Project inquiries index: 66.4
- Design contracts index: 55.7
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. Regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers. Any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services.
News via the AIA.