In October 2012, billings at architecture firms accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010. The October Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score was 52.8, up from the mark of 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," commented AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "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."
Key October ABI Highlights
Regional averages: South (52.8), Northeast (52.6), West (51.8), Midwest (50.8)
Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (59.6), mixed practice (52.4), institutional (51.4), commercial / industrial (48.0)
Project inquiries index: 59.4