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Architecture Billings Upturn Shows Broad Strength

Latest economic reports and indicators show business conditions continue to reflect healthy construction market leading into 2018.

By Church Designer Staff   •  December 21, 2017 12:54 pm EST

Tags: american institute of architects, business, construction, design,

The Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects (AIA) reports in its Architecture Billings Index (ABI) that design services at architecture firms remain in high demand. The AIA shared the November ABI score was 55.0, up from a score of 51.7 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 61.1, up from a reading of 60.2 the previous month, while the new design contracts index rose slightly from 52.8 to 53.2.

View this press release online here: https://www.aia.org/press-releases/167786-architecture-billings-upturn-shows-broad-st

“Not only are design billings overall seeing their strongest growth of the year, the strength is reflected in all major regions and construction sectors,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The construction industry continues to show surprising momentum heading into 2018.”

Key November 2017 ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: West (54.8), Northeast (52.8), South (52.8), Midwest (50.4)

• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.9), mixed practice (53.6), commercial / industrial (53.3), institutional (52.4)

• Project inquiries index: 61.1

• Design contracts index: 53.2

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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