As we shared in September, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reported an ever so slight increase with the index shifting from 47.9 to 48.2 in August. Now, the index shows a 52.0 – a 3 point increase from last month. This is great news for our profession as this billings marks the strongest point we’ve reached since December of 2007. As the New Year approaches, we’re hoping that this trend can steadily climb higher and bring prosperity for 2011; especially since firms across the country – from the Northeast to the West – reported increases. However, the New Year will bring mixed feelings to firms as Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, AIA Chief Economist stated in his report of the ABI. “Both residential and commercial/industrial firms are more optimistic about business conditions over the coming year. Half of the firms in each group are expecting revenue increases in 2011…In contrast, almost half of institutional firms are expecting revenue declines over the coming year, with only 38 percent expecting growth,” stated Baker.
More information about the recent ABI after the break.
As far are construction sectors, the billings show that institutional firms have been gradually recovering, residential architecture firms fair pretty well with an index of 54.2 – the highest since 2007 – while the commercial and industrial firms saw a decline with the index dropping below 50 for the first time since last April.
As Baker explained, “The AIA has recently begun collecting information on trends in newly signed design contracts, anticipating that this will serve as a leading indicator for future design billings. In November, fewer firms reported an increase in newly signed design contracts than reported an increase in billings, so workloads at architecture firms are not likely to begin to accelerate in the months ahead.”
The road to recovery has been very slow, but its important to note that it has gradually been increasing over the past few months. We hope your firms expect to see growth this New Year and we’ll continue to keep you updated.
We spotted this article via @stevenburns on Twitter.