Today’s report from the AIA (Architectural Institute of America) states that for the second month in a row, the Architecture Billing Index (ABI) has increased. The March 2016 ABI score is 51.9 which is up from a 50.3 in February. This is great news for the industry as it shows that the trend in architectural and therefore construction work is on the upswing for the first quarter of 2016.
The ABI is an economic indicator of construction activity. The score is derived from results of a monthly survey asking AIA firms whether their billings increased, decreased or stayed the same from prior month. Anything about a score of 50 indicates an increase in billings; below a 50 indicates a decline. The score is also a predictor of construction spending with a nine to twelve month gap between architectural spending and construction spending. ABI news is broken out on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Key March ABI highlights:
- Regional averages: South (52.4), Northeast (51.0), West (50.4), Midwest (49.8)
- Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (55.7), commercial / industrial (51.8), mixed practice (50.0), institutional (48.0)
- Project inquiries index: 58.1
- Design contracts index: 51.8
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
For more ABI information, click here.
Related: ABI Scores Up in February