February ABI shows highest spike in new project inquiries since 2007
Led by the commercial sector, the Architecture Billings Index has remained in positive territory four months in a row, according to the American Institute of Architects. AIA reported the February ABI score was 51.0, following a mark of 50.9 in January. This score reflects a slight increase in demand for design services. The new projects inquiry index was 63.4, up from 61.2 the previous month, marking its highest reading since July 2007, according to a March 21 AIA release.
"This is more good news for the design and construction industry that continues to see improving business conditions," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, in the release. "The factors that are preventing a more accelerated recovery are persistent caution from clients to move ahead with new projects, and a continued difficulty in accessing financing for projects that developers have decided to pursue."
The Midwest led the way in February with an ABI of 56.0, followed by the South at 51.3, the Northeast at 51.0 and the West at 45.6.