The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) shows that the November score had dropped to 50.9, below the October score of 53.7. The score of 50.9 for November still indicates an increase in design activity because any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings and any score below 50 indicates a decrease in billings. This marks the seventh consecutive month the ABI has indicated an increase in billings and design activity. The ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. This means that 2015 should be another year of growth in construction activity and increased construction spending.
Only the South (57.9) and West (52.7) regions indicated an increase in design activity with both posting a score above the 50 mark. The Northeast (46.7) and Midwest (49.8) regions had decreases in billings. The Midwest took the biggest hit, dropping from a three-month average of 54.4 in October all the way down to 49.8 in November.
All sectors showed growth in November with Multi-family Residential leading the pack with a score of 56.8. Mixed Practice was next at 52.6, followed by Institutional at 51.3 and Commercial/Industrial checking in with a score of 50.6.
The AIA’s new projects inquiry index was at 58.8 in November, down from September’s score of 62.7. The design contracts index, which acts as sort of a precursor to future ABI scores, was at 54.9 in November, a slight decrease from October’s score of 56.4