The Abi rose to 55.0 in November from 51.7 last month and is now at its highest level since December 2016. Just as we saw on Tuesday with the Census Bureau’s New Residential Construction tables showed an increase in developments in the West, South, and less so, the Midwest domestic regions; the AIA Billings Index mirrored the same results. Noting that the Northeast was the only regional ABI to record a decline on the month.
Nevertheless, the total ABI index rose above 50, meaning that most firms reported increased demand for design services, and points to continued growth in the construction sector.
The commercial/ industrial, institutional, multifamily residential and mixed ABIs all increased on the month. The largest jumps came from multifamily residential and mixed-use billings, which increased 3.2 and 2.9 points respectively in November.
The indexes for new project inquiries and design contracts also both increased in November. These tend to lead billings and suggest the recent strength should carry into the New Year.
Architecture Billings Index
What Is It: The index measures demand for architectural services and can foreshadow commercial construction activity.
Most Current News Release on the Internet: www.aia.org/practicing/economics/
Release Time: 8:30–9:00 a.m. (ET); released the third or fourth Wednesday of each month and covers activity in the preceding month.
Source: American Institute of Architects.
Bernard Baumohl. The Secrets of Economic Indicators