US architecture billings accelerate at fastest pace for two years
Has the US architecture industry finally turned the corner after years of decline?
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has reported growth in billings for the third month in a row.
Billings at US practices accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010.
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for October was 52.8, up from 51.6 in September. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).
The new projects inquiry index was 59.4, compared to a mark of 57.3 the previous month.
“With three straight monthly gains – and the past two being quite strong – it’s beginning to look like demand for design services has turned the corner,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker.
“With 2012 winding down on an upnote, and with the national elections finally behind us, there is a general sense of optimism.
“However, this is balanced by a tremendous amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the marketplace, which likely means that we’ll have a few more bumps before we enter a full-blown expansion.”
All regions reported a positive month, with the south and northeast experiencing the strongest growth, with scores above 52.5.
The best-performing sectors were multi-family residential (59.6) and mixed practice (52.4). Worst was commercial/industrial (48.0).