Small Bounce-Back for Architectural Billings Index

March 23, 2016

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) took a small step forward in February, rebounding from January’s dip, as national demand in design services experienced a small increase.

The Architecture Billings Index, produced for the American Institute of Architects by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine-to-twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity.

The February ABI score of 50.3 marked a slight uptick from January’s 49.6. According to the organization’s release, posted today, any score above 50 indicates an aggregate increase in billings; any score below shows a decrease. January’s sub-50 score was the first dip below 50 in five months.

The release quoted AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD, as saying, “March and April are traditionally the busiest months for architecture firms, so we should get a clearer reading of underlying momentum over the next couple of months. Hopefully the relatively mild weather conditions recently in most parts of the country will help design and construction activity move ahead at a somewhat faster pace.”