Architecture Billings Remain Stuck in Winter Slowdown
After a long stretch of increasing levels of demand, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped in April for the second month this year.
The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity and reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the ABI score in April was 48.8, down significantly from a mark of 51.7 in March, which reflects a decrease in design services. However, the new projects inquiry index was up from the previous month.
“The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”