American Institute of Architects reported that the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped two points in March and fell to its
lowest level since 1995. As a leading economic
indicator of construction activity, the ABI shows an approximate nine to 12
month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The ABI rating dropped to
39.7, following a 9-point decline in February (any score above 50
indicates an increase in billings). The inquiries for new projects score was
48.0, also the lowest mark for the survey.
“We’ve seen an 11-point
fall-off in the first quarter of the year and the prognosis for commercial
construction later this year is not favorable at this point,” said AIA Chief
Economist Kermit Baker
, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Aside from historically low project
demand, all regions are showing very poor business conditions. This is not
likely to reverse itself anytime soon.”
- Regional averages: South (45.3), Northeast (38.7), West (38.7), Midwest
- Sector index breakdown: institutional (50.8), commercial /
industrial (38.3) multifamily residential (31.7).