Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AIA: Architecture Billings Index Shows Contraction in December

by Bill McBride on 1/19/2010 02:53:00 PM

Note: The NAHB housing market index (HMI) release is for residential, and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is for non-residential with a nine to twelve month lead.

The WSJ reports that the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index increased slightly to 43.4 in December from 42.8 in November. It was at 46.1 in October. Any reading below 50 indicates contraction.

The ABI press release is 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.

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