Positive signals in the construction industry; AIA’s architecture billing index through April 2021 shows a strong rebound as the effects of COVID-19 continue to subside.
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly surveys conducted by member firms of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) located across the country and reporting on the activity of “work on the boards.” “. The data is compiled by the American Institute of Architects Economics & Research Group. Using a first-hand survey index of architectural firms, the ABI serves as a leading economic indicator of non-residential construction activity and provides insight into non-residential construction activity approximately 9 to 12 months in the future or the typical time frame for a project to mature from design development to construction. The ABI is considered to be one of the most balanced barometers of construction and economic activity expected within this prospective period, because the AIA does not have a clear political agenda and because the construction industry construction affects a large number of trades, professionals and support services. , which collectively constitute a substantial force in the economy.
ABI scores are centered on 50, with scores above 50 indicating an overall increase in billings and scores below 50 indicating a decrease in billings. The recent ABI index released by the AIA in April 2021 showed a continued strong rebound with an ABI score reaching 57.9, indicating an increase in billings for the second consecutive month at most reporting companies. By comparison, April’s score marked the highest ABI score since before the Great Recession of 2007-2009. In addition, interest in new projects was reported to be extremely strong with a score of 70.8 with the value of new design contracts signed reaching a score of 61.7, the highest score since the start of the data collection at the end of 2010. Companies specializing in commercial / industrial projects saw the largest increase in billings, followed by companies specializing in multi-family residential, which saw a decrease compared to the previous winter months.
Together, this welcome economic news from AIA indicates that not only are clients talking about starting new projects, but many are also signing contracts to start this work at a high rate.