While it may be too soon to pop the champagne, the architecture and design business outlook has brightened for the first time in five months, according to the latest billings index.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August Architecture Billings Index score was 50.2, up from 48.7 in July. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in demand for design services.
Daryl Bruvelaitis / Wikimedia Commons
|Architecture billings hit a five-month high in August.|
The New Projects Inquiry index in August stood at 57.2, up from the mark of 56.3 the previous month.
However, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker warned against premature celebration.
“Until the economy is on firmer ground, there aren’t likely to be strong increases in demand for design services,” said Baker. “In the meantime, we can expect to see design activity alternate between modest growth and modest decline.”
Key Index Figures
Regional billing-index figures for August were 52.2 for the South, 51.2 for the West, 45.5 for the Northeast, and 45.3 for the Midwest.
By sector, the figures were 53.0 for multi-family residential, 50.2 for institutional, 47.9 for commercial/industrial, and 46.8 for mixed practice.
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average; the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.
The index is considered a leading indicator of construction activity, with an approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.