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Architecture Billings Keep Growing
Greig O'Brien / ARCHITECT / July 24, 2013
In June, the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index saw a continuation of what we reported in May—a return to growth in the demand for architectural design services. April had seen the first dip into negative territory for the index in nine months, which now seems for certain to be an outlier. With a national score of 51.6, down from May’s 52.9, June’s overall rate of growth did cool off a little, but the industry is still on the rise. (A score above 50.0 in the index means that demand is increasing; below 50.0 means that demand is contracting.)
But the slight softening of the national score was the only (minor) letdown in June. Every other yardstick in the index improved. All of the scores for the nation’s regions and the industry’s sectors saw a higher score in June. The Midwest region came in under 50 for the third straight month, but it did move a little closer to growth territory. All other regions and all four of the industry’s sectors came in above 50—for the ninth straight month.
The score for project inquiries came in at 62.6, up from May’s 59.1, and it was the first time since March that the inquiries score topped 60. In fact, four of the six months of 2013 have seen the project inquiries index coming in above 60, a good sign for future billings.
The ABI’s data also continues to track well with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent employment report. The BLS reported 195,000 jobs added to the economy in June, with the architectural and engineering services sector of the economy adding another 3,000 jobs. Steady monthly growth in billings are marching in step with a steady increase in jobs.