Industry Outlook

ABI Continues Growth into 2018

The year started on a strong note for architecture firms, as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) saw its highest January score since 2007. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January 2018 ABI score was 54.7, up from a score of 52.8 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.m down from a reading of 62.0 the previous month, while the new design contracts index increased slightly from 53.4 to 53.9.

The Dodge Momentum Index increased 0.5 percent in February to 146.9 (2000=100) form the revised January number of 146.2 The momentum index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year

The commercial component had declined for two consecutive months, an additional sign that commercial building construction growth could ease in 2018 in response to rising vacancy rates for offices and warehouses.

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