Following fluctuations at the beginning of the year, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), released by the AIA today, shows significant growth in June. All regions and project sectors, with the exception of multifamily housing, posted monthly gains. The AIA cites continued demand for institutional projects as the driver behind the positive figures in today’s report.
The ABI index reached 55.7, its highest score in nearly eight years and a significant increase from a mark of 51.9 in May. The project inquiries index also saw a rise: The category posted a value of 63.4 in June, compared to 61.5 in May. The design contracts category decreased nearly a point from May, but still remains firmly in positive territory at 52.5. Scores above 50 indicate an increase in billings, whereas those below 50 mean a contraction.
“The June numbers are likely showing some catch-up from slow growth earlier this year. This is the first month in 2015 that all regions are reporting positive business conditions and aside from the multi-family housing sector, all design project categories appear to be in good shape,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, in a press release. “The demand for new apartments and condominiums may have crested with index scores going down each month this year and reaching the lowest point since 2011.”
Here are the national, regional, and sector breakdowns for the June ABI report.
National Billings: The June score of 55.7 marks the second consecutive month of growth.
Project Inquiries: Up nearly two points from May, this index posted a score of 63.4.
Design Contracts: Down about one point from the previous month, June’s score of 52.5 is one point below the average for the year.
Northeast: After nearly a year of consistent monthly contraction, the region crept into positive territory in June with a value of 50.4.
Midwest: The region saw significant gains last month, climbing from 54 in May to 57.2 in June, surpassing the South as the report’s top region. Down marginally from May, the region posted a value of 54.9 in June.
West: The region’s index dropped one point from May (51.7) to June (50.7), but remains in positive territory for the fourth consecutive month.
Multifamily Residential: The only index in today’s report that experienced contraction, the multifamily residential sector posted a June value of 47, the samescore it received in May.
Commercial/Industrial: Following a score of 50 in May, this sector posted a value of 51.6 in June.
Institutional: The institutional project category saw the greatest demand for design services in June with an index score of 59.1.
Mixed Practice: Though this sector began 2015 with three consecutive months of contraction, it has since experienced three months of growth. June’s score of 54.7 is up from May’s value of 54.
Source: AIA Architecture Billings Index