The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has reported that the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has remained positive in July for the sixth consecutive month, and tenth out of the last twelve months as demand across all project types has continued to increase. The July ABI score was 51.5, down from 52.6 in June, but nonetheless still reflects an increase in design services, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index was 57.5, down from a mark of 58.6 the previous month.
“The uncertainty surrounding the presidential election is causing some funding decisions regarding larger construction projects to be delayed or put on hold for the time being,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It’s likely that these concerns will persist up until the election, and therefore we would expect higher levels of volatility in the design and construction sector in the months ahead.”
- South (56.9)
- West (49.2)
- Northeast (49.3)
- Midwest (50.1)
Sector Index Breakdown
- Multi-family residential (55.2)
- Institutional (50.7)
- Mixed practice (50.5)
- Commercial / industrial (50.3)
Key July ABI Highlights
- Project inquiries index: 57.5
- Design contracts index: 51.8
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. Any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services.
News via the American Institute of Architects (AIA).