Architecture Billings Index Continues to Point to Difficult Conditions

Following another historic low score in January, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was up two points in February. The ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI rating was 35.3, up from the 33.3 mark in January, but still pointing to a general lack of demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 49.5.

“Despite a higher score than last month, we are likely to see light demand for new construction projects through much of the year,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “There is hope that the stimulus bill will result in more project activity, but that is also dependent on banks easing lending standards in the months ahead. Still, the improvement in the inquiries index does provide hope that some stalled projects will resurface in the near future.”


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