For the third consecutive month the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has been on the rise. A leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate 9-12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the April ABI rating was 48.4, up from a reading of 46.1 the previous month. Although this score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), it is the highest score since January 2008 when revenue at architecture firms headed into recession. The new projects inquiry index was 59.6.
“It appears that the design and construction industry may be nearing an actual recovery phase,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.
“The economic landscape is improving, although not across the board, but doing so at a gradual pace. It is quite possible that we will finally see positive business conditions in the foreseeable future.”