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ABI Dips in November

Graph credit: AIA

By Roland Murphy for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

A leading industry economic indicator, the Architecture Billings Index slipped in November with a score of 49.3, dropping from 53.1 the previous month. Any number less than 50 shows a decrease in billings.

Key highlights in the report show regional averages for the South at 55.4, West at 54.5, Midwest at 47.8 and northeast at 46.2.

By sector, the three month averages were: Mixed practice 47.6, Institutional 52.0, Commercial/Industrial 51.0 and MFR 53.8.

The design contract index was 53.5, and the new projects inquiry index was at 58.6.

Regional and sector categories are three-month moving averages. National index, design contracts and inquiries are monthlies.

AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said the billings do not appear to demonstrate any underlying weakness in construction as a sector, since architectural firms continue to report bringing in new projects. He believes, instead, it could show ongoing tightness in project financing and labor shortages in construction and design.

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