December Billings at Architectural Firms Move Up Smartly

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) jumped more than two points in December, its highest mark since 2007. Published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington, D.C., the ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity and reflects the approximate nine- to twelve-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The AIA reported the December ABI score was 54.2 points, up from a reading of 52 points the previous month. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 points indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6 points, up slightly from a mark of 61.4 points in November.

“This is more promising news that the design and construction industry is continuing to move toward a recovery,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker. “However, historically December is the most unpredictable month from a business standpoint, and therefore the most difficult month from which to interpret a trend. The coming quarter will give us a much better sense of the strength of the apparent upturn in design activity. ” Details

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