Following a rebound in October, the Architecture Billings Index climbed more than two points in November. The American Institute of Architects reported the November ABI rating was 55.3, up from 53.2 in October, and inquiries for new projects was 56.6 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine- to twelve-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
“For the time being, the anxiety in the credit markets that threatened many nonresidential projects during the fall has abated,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “With consecutive months of two-point bumps, all signs point to continued healthy demand for construction projects well into 2008.”
Key November ABI highlights include:
• Regional averages: Northeast (59.0), South (56.2), Midwest (54.5), West (46.8)
• Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (58.7), mixed practice (57.0), institutional (55.8), multi-family residential (44.2)
• Billings inquiries index: 56.6
“Heading into 2008, architecture firms are concerned about the possibility of a weakening economy, as well as attracting new staff and managing current heavy workloads,” said Baker.