US Feb architectural index positive for seventh straight month

20 March 2013 20:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A monthly survey of US architectural firms reflected industry growth for the seventh consecutive month, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) said on Wednesday.

The AIA’s February Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was 54.9, up from 54.2 in January after rising sharply from a seasonally adjusted 51.2 in the last month of 2012. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in demand for architectural design services.

“Conditions have been strengthening in all regions and construction sectors for the last several months,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker said. “Still, we also continue to hear a mix of business conditions… as this hesitant recovery continues to unfold.”

In November 2007, before the recession was fully underway, the ABI was also 54.9. One year ago, the score was 51.0, with strict credit terms more common.

The ABI results reflect a lag of nine to 12 months between architecture billings and construction spending, according to the AIA.

The project-inquiries score for February increased to 64.8, its highest level since January 2007 and a 2.5% increase from 63.2 a month earlier.

In the construction categories, an 11.8% increase in the multi-family residential sector for February far outpaced gains of 1.0-3.6% in the three other divisions.

Regionally, the AIA survey for February indicated a gain of 13% in the northeast, while the index was higher by just 0.6-2.4% in all other regions.

Every $1,000 (€780/tonne) spent on non-residential construction generates $160-230 worth of consumable chemicals and derivatives, according to the American Chemistry Council.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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