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Rebound in Construction Activity?

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Authored by attorney George M. Nicholos

The Architecture Billings Index for February of 2013 indicates a continued strong pace in design activity in architectural firms and suggests an oncoming jump in nonresidential construction spending during the second half of this year. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a composite index derived from monthly report surveys from member firms located throughout the country regarding “work-on-the-boards,” and is compiled by the American Institute of Architects Economics & Research Group. Using a first-hand survey index from architectural firms, the ABI Index serves as a leading economic indicator of nonresidential construction activity and provides a glimpse of nonresidential construction activity approximately 9-12 months into the future or the typical time frame for a project to progress from design development to construction.

As of February 2013, the ABI recorded the strongest growth in billings reported at architecture firms since the downturn in construction activity began in early 2008. For each of the past five months ABI index scores in all regions of the country indicate a broad based recovery in design activity that appears to have survived the recent uncertainty surrounding the federal budget, although questions remain regarding the impact from sequestration. However, the significance of the present ABI Index indicators are punctuated by the fact that index ratings prior to the present resurging trend vacillated at or below levels which indicate stagnate or declining activity levels. According to the AIA Economics & Research Group and the ABI Index, based on the current trend prospects remain for continued steady growth in the construction industry for the remainder of 2013 although both the architecture and engineering industry as well as the construction industry still have a long way to go to get back to typical levels of construction activity seen during the last decade.

These articles are meant to bring awareness to these topics and are not intended to be used as legal advice.

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