WASHINGTON — The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) saw a jump of more than a full point last month, indicating acceleration in the growth of design activity nationally. A leading economic indicator of construction activity, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported that the July ABI score was 52.7, up from a mark of 51.6 in June. 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 66.7, up significantly from the reading of 62.6 the previous month.

“There continues to be encouraging signs that the design and construction industry continues to improve,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “But we also hear a wide mix of business conditions all over the country, ranging from outstanding and booming to slowly improving to flat. In fact, plenty of architecture firms are reporting very weak business conditions as well, so it is premature to declare the entire sector has entered an expansion phase.”

The regional scores were Northeast at 54.3, South at 54.2, West at 51.1, and Midwest at 50.8.

The sector index breakdown was mixed practice at 56.9, commercial/industrial at 54.2, multifamily residential at 53.3, and institutional at 50.6.

For more information, visit www.aia.org.

Publication date: 9/2/2013

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