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Dec. 3, 2012: Construction Index Shows Strongest Growth Since December 2010

WASHINGTON — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that billings at architecture firms accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the AIA reported that October’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was 52.8, up from the mark of 51.6 in September. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.4, compared to a mark of 57.3 the previous month.

“With three straight monthly gains — and the past two being quite strong — it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA. “With 2012 winding down on an upnote, and with the national elections finally behind us, there is a general sense of optimism. However, this is balanced by a tremendous amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the marketplace, which likely means that we’ll have a few more bumps before we enter a full-blown expansion.”

All regions reported positive business conditions. The regional numbers for October were the South at 52.8, Northeast at 52.6, West at 51.8, and Midwest at 50.8.

The sector index breakdown for the month was multifamily residential at 59.6, mixed practice at 52.4, institutional at 51.4, and commercial/industrial at 48.0.

Publication date: 12/3/2012

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