Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AIA: Architecture Billings Index shows contraction in October

by Bill McBride on 11/16/2010 11:59:00 PM

Note: This index is a leading indicator for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.

Reuters reports that the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index decreased to 48.7 in October from 50.4 in September. 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 showed expansion in September (above 50) for the first time since Jan 2008, however the index is indicating contraction again in October.

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

According to the AIA, there is an "approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending" on non-residential construction. So there will probably be further declines in CRE investment for the next 9 to 12 months.