Architecture Billings Index (ABI) -- Not so ugly...

Posted by Expert Gadget Reviewer on Thursday, 22 April 2010

The headlines say it all "ABI Sees Highest Reading Since March 2008"... The American Institute of Architects (AIA), reported that the ABI was up more than two points in February to 44.8, and more than a point in March, coming in at 46.1. Although any score less than 50 indicates a decrease in billings, March 2010 is the highest score recorded since March of 2008. In even brighter news, the New Projects inquiry index was 58.5.

“This is certainly an encouraging sign that we could be moving closer to a recovery phase, even though we continue to hear about mixed conditions across the country,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. Mixed is a fair assessment when looking at the scores on a regional basis:

  • Midwest - 50.5
  • Northeast - 47.0
  • West - 46.0
  • South - 44.4
All else being equal, this news is still good. What a difference a couple of months can make... Reference the 3/1/2010 post: Architectural Billing Index (ABI) is ugly... which highlighted the fact that the ABI for December and January was in the tank.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity, and reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.