August 30 Architectural billings rose two full points in July following two months of weakness, according to the latest Architectural Billings Index (ABI) of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
July's ABI rose to 47.9 from 46.0 in June. However the new projects inquiry index dropped substantially for the period, falling to 53.1 from 57.7 in June.
Any number above 50 indicates billings growth; scores below 50 indicate declining billings. Current billings continue to shrink, therefore, yet despite July's setback, the future projects index suggests that billing will rise in coming months. The Index is considered to be a nine to twelve month leading indicator of construction activity.
"Business conditions at design firms remain quite volatile," said Kermit Baker, AIA chief economist. "While the recent up tick is encouraging, the state of the industry is likely to persist for a while as we continue to receive a mixed bag of feedback."