Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AIA: Architecture Billings Index Shows Contraction in November

by Bill McBride on 12/15/2009 08:10:00 PM

The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index declined to 42.8 in November from 46.1 in October. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty in the construction industry that likely will delay new projects in the near future," said Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects. (via WSJ, press release not online yet)

AIA Architecture Billing Index Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index has remained below 50, indicating falling demand, since January 2008.

Historically there is an "approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending" on non-residential construction. This suggests further significant declines in CRE investment through 2010, and probably longer.

Note: Nonresidential construction includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions.