The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) exhibited its strongest pace of growth since December 2010. The October score of 52.8 is up from 51.6 in September. In addition, the new projects inquiry index was 59.4 for October, up 1.1 points over the previous month.
Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA, chief economist for AIA says sustained demand for design services has turned a corner. "With 2012 winding down on an upnote, and with the national elections behind us, there is a general sense of optimism. However, this is balanced by a tremendous amount of anxiety and uncertainty in the marketplace, which likely means that we'll have a few more bumps before we enter a full-blown expansion."
Regional averages for October were all positive: the ABI score for the South is 52.8; the Northeast is 52.6; the West is 51.8; and the Midwest is 50.8. By sector, the score for institutional work continues its rise to 51.4 and mixed practice is 52.4, with multi-family residential scoring the highest at 59.6. The only sector in the red is commercial/industrial at 48.0, though it exhibits an increase of .1 point over September.
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers.
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