Posted in news on September 20, 2017 9:58 am EDT

Architecture Billings Index Continues Growth Streak

Design services remain in high demand across all regions and in all major sectors.


 

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TAGS: aec industry, business, economic forecast, institutional sector,

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By Church Designer Staff

With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) compiled by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington, D.C. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate 9-12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The AIA reports that the August ABI score was 53.7, up from a score of 51.9 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).The new projects inquiry index was 62.5, up from a reading of 59.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased somewhat from 56.4 to 54.2.

“The August results continue a string of very positive readings from the design professions, pointing to future healthy growth across the major construction sectors, as well as across the major regions of the country,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Given the focus and discussions around the infrastructure needs of the nation, we expect strong growth in design activity for the coming months and years.”

Key August ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: South (55.7), Northeast (54.3), Midwest (52.5), West (51.3)

• Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (57.6), multi-family residential (53.8), mixed practice (52.5), institutional (50.1)

• Project inquiries index: 62.5

• Design contracts index: 54.2

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the recently released White Paper, "Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index" on the AIA website.

 

 

 

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American Institute of Architects (AIA)

 

 

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