Architecture Billings Rebound in May

The American Institute of Architects reports that the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rebounded in May to 51.0 from 48.5 in April, the highest score since September 2022.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator that leads nonresidential construction activity by approximately 9-12 months. Any score below 50 indicates a decline in billings. Inquiries into new projects (57.2) and design contracts (52.3) increased in May, reaching their highest levels since February. Officials add that billings declined for the ninth consecutive month at firms with a commercial/industrial specialization. Billings also softened in May at firms with a multifamily residential specialization.

Slowdown in May Momentum Index

Continued weakness in office and hotel planning contributed to a decline in May’s Dodge Momentum Index (DMI), reports Dodge Construction Network (DCN). The company states that the DMI declined by 2% in May to 180.5 from a revised April reading of 184.1. DCN data shows that the commercial component of the DMI fell by 6.1%, while the institutional component improved by 5.6%. The DMI is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year.

A slowdown in office and hotel planning activity negatively impacted commercial planning in May. Institutional planning accelerated alongside steady growth in education, health and amusement projects. The DMI remains 11% higher yearly than in May 2022. The commercial and institutional components were up 7% and 18%, respectively.

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