Steady levels of demand in commercial and retail sectors and a strong multi-family housing market has seen the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rise to it's highest point in nearly a year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 53.1, up sharply from the mark of 50.6 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 56.9 the previous month.
“Demand levels are solid across the board for all project types at the moment. Of particular note, the recent surge in design activity for institutional projects could be a harbinger of a new round of growth in the broader construction industry in the months ahead,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.
- West (53.8)
- South (53.7)
- Northeast (51.2)
- Midwest (49.9)
Sector index breakdown:
- Multi-family residential (53.7)
- Institutional (53.0)
- Commercial / industrial (51.0)
- Mixed practice (51.0)
Key April ABI highlights:
- Project inquiries index: 60.1
- Design contracts index: 52.8
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.
News Via AIA