Score increases for seventh month running

The American Institute of Architects billings index has grown for the seventh month in a row.

It reported a score of 54.9 for February, up from 54.2 in January.

The score reflects an increase in demand for design services since any score above 50 indicates a rise in billings.

The new projects inquiry index was 64.8, higher than the reading of 63.2 the previous month – and its highest mark since January 2007.

Kermit Baker, AIA chief economist, said: “Conditions have been strengthening in all regions and construction sectors for the last several months. Still, we also continue to hear a mix of business conditions in the marketplace as this hesitant recovery continues to unfold.”

The north-east was the most positive region, reporting a score of 56.7, while the south was the least optimistic, reporting a score of 52.7.