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Photo 199231482 / Hye Jin Kang / Dreamstime
Photo 199231482 / Hye Jin Kang / Dreamstime
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Photo 199231482 / Hye Jin Kang / Dreamstime
199231482 / Hye Jin Kang/ Dreamstime
hye jin kang / DreamsTime
Hye Jin Kang / DreamsTime
Prices Cost Rising Photo 199231482 Hye Jin Kang Dreamstime Copy
Hye Jin Kang / DreamsTime
Prices Cost Rising Photo 199231482 Hye Jin Kang Dreamstime

Electrical Marketing’s Leading Economic Indicators

Oct. 22, 2015
Among the highlights of this month's round of the numbers that drive demand for electrical products, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) returned to positive territory after a slight dip in August, and has seen growth in six of the nine months of the year so far.

Building permits sag in September. Building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,103,000, 5% below the revised August rate of 1,161,000, but 4.7% above the Sept. 2014 estimate of 1,053,000. Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 697,000, 0.3% below the revised August figure of 699,000, according to the U.S. Census Dept. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 369,000 in September, a 14.6% decline from August.

Strong rebound for AIA’s Architecture Billings Index in September. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) returned to positive territory after a slight dip in August, and has seen growth in six of the nine months of the year so far. 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.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington, D.C., reported the September ABI score was 53.7, up from a mark of 49.1 in August. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.0, down from a reading of 61.8 the previous month.

“Aside from uneven demand for design services in the Northeast, all regions and project sectors are in good shape,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a press release. “Areas of concern are shifting to supply issues for the industry, including volatility in building materials costs, a lack of a deep enough talent pool to keep up with demand, as well as a lack of contractors to execute design work.”

Purchasing Managers Index sees slight decline in September. The September Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) registered 50.2%, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the August reading of 51.1% but still above the 50% market  indicating a growth environment.  The Purchasing Managers Index is part of the Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, monthly survey of purchasing managers conducted by the Institute for Supply Management, Tempe, Ariz.