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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

AIA: Architecture Billings Index increased slightly in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/23/2011 12:01:00 AM

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

From the American Institute of Architects: Architecture Firm Billings Increase Slightly in February

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 50.6 for February indicates that very modest growth occurred at architecture firms that month. Although the pace of growth has slowed from the end of 2010, February still marks the fourth consecutive month that the ABI has been 50 or higher; an encouraging sign for a recovery. In addition, inquiries into new projects remain strong at firms.
AIA Architecture Billing Index Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index showed billings were slightly higher in February (at 50.6).

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 this indicator suggests the drag from CRE investment will end mid-year 2011 or so - but there won't be a strong increase in investment.