Wednesday, July 18, 2018

AIA: "June architecture firm billings stay positive"

by Bill McBride on 7/18/2018 10:09:00 AM

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

From the AIA: June architecture firm billings stay positive

Architecture firm billings slowed in June but remained positive for the ninth consecutive month, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June was 51.3 compared to 52.8 in May; it remains positive since any score over 50 represents billings growth. As a result, June’s ABI shows that demand for architecture firm services continues to improve across all sectors.

“Architects continue to see increases in demand for their services this summer, with new project work coming in at a healthy pace,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, business conditions are beginning to vary across the country. While essentially remaining flat in the Northeast and Midwest, billings jumped in the South while dropping in the West.”
...
• Regional averages: West (46.9), Midwest (49.8), South (57.4), Northeast (50.2)

• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (54.6), institutional (51.6), commercial/industrial (53.4), mixed practice (49.3)
emphasis added
AIA Architecture Billing Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 51.3 in June, down from 52.8 in May. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services.

Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family residential, 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.  This index was positive in 11 of the last 12 months, suggesting a further increase in CRE investment in 2018 and early 2019.