AIA Construction Billings Index Number Negative For April
Washington, DC – The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was negative in April, marking the second straight month the number failed to reach 50. 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) reported the April ABI score was 49.6, up slightly from a mark of 48.8 in March. This score reflects a decrease in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.1, up from the reading of 57.9 the previous month.
The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in April was 54.6.
“Despite an easing in demand for architecture services over the last couple of months, there is a pervading sense of optimism that business conditions are poised to improve as the year moves on,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With a healthy figure for design contracts this should translate into improved billings in the near future.”
Key April ABI highlights:
• Regional averages: South (57.5),West (48.9), Midwest 47.0), Northeast (42.9)
• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (52.6), commercial / industrial (50.2), mixed practice (50.7), institutional (47.1)
• Project inquiries index: 59.1
• Design contracts index: 54.6
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
About The American Institute Of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. For more information, visit www.aia.org.