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Architecture Billings Index Dips Back into Negative Territory in October

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Architecture Billings Index Dips Back into Negative Territory in October

| aia, architects, architecture jobs, jobs, recession, unemployed architects | November 17, 2010

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported today that following on the heels of the first positive reading since January 2008, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped nearly two points in October.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The October ABI score was 48.7, down from a reading of 50.4 the previous month. This score reflects a decrease in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.7, down slightly from a nearly three-year high mark of 62.3 in September.

“This is disappointing news, but not altogether that surprising,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We were anticipating a slow recovery period and it is likely that there will be some fits and starts before conditions show consistent improvement. Right now, reluctance from lending institutions to provide credit for construction projects and a sluggish economy are the main impediments to a revival of the design and construction industry.”

Key October ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (54.5), Midwest (51.8), South (48.6), West (44.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.5), institutional (50.8), multi-family residential (49.1), mixed practice (43.2)
  • Project inquiries index: 61.7

Via Real Estate Channel

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About the author

After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis, and starting his own design firm, David McFadden saw that there was a gap to be filled in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work, while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed - flexibility and adaption to modern work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early 80’s, the early 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the Great Recession of 2007.

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