With a February score of 51.0 (up from January’s score of 50.9), the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index, a measurement of the nation’s design and construction activity, is in positive territory for the fourth month in a row and the sixth time in the past 12 months. Any score above 50.0 indicates growth in architectural billings. The index has hovered slightly above the crucial 50 mark since November.

For the second straight month, three of the four regions around the United States are in growth territory. And for the third straight month, three of the four industry sectors are above 50 as well.

The index for project inquiries, however, jumped to 63.4 in February (up from 61.2 in January). This is the highest point that the inquiries index has reached since recording a score of 65.1 in July 2007, which is promising news for the design and construction industry. According to AIA chief economist Kermit Baker in the Institute’s press release, the biggest things standing in the way of a more robust recovery are caution on the side of clients and finding adequate financing, both of which have been persistent problems throughout the downturn of the past few years.

Score by region
Midwest: 56.0
Northeast: 51.0
West: 45.6

Scores by sector
Commercial/Industrial: 55.1
Multifamily Residential: 53.3
Institutional: 50.3
Mixed Practice:

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average. The index and inquiries are monthly numbers. You can see charts for all of these below: