One of the leading indicators of construction activity in the U.S improved for the 3rd consecutive month in October as demand for design services continued to recover.
The ABI, released November 21st, rose 1.2 points in October to a reading of 52.8, led by demand from builders of apartment buildings, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The billings index is considered a predictor of construction spending nine to 12 months into the future and therefore is a worthwhile report to follow within the industry.
After declining earlier in 2012, the billings index began to turn higher in June, then accelerated, and has now marked its third straight month above the 50 level, which indicates expanding demand for architects' services (and therefore construction services to follow). The ABI is also a major indicator of new comercial real estate investment.
Regional averages: South (52.8), Northeast (52.6), West (51.8), Midwest (50.8)
Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (59.6), mixed practice (52.4), institutional (51.4), commercial / industrial (48.0)