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…
- Midwest (54.1)
- South (55.1)
- Northeast (55.5)
- West (53.5)
Sector Index Breakdown:
- Multi-family residential (56.5)
- Mixed Practice (61.0)
- Commercial/industrial (51.2)
- Institutional (53.3)
Key July ABI Highlights:
- Project inquiries index (66.0)
- Design contracts index (54.9)
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.