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Work-On-The-Boards: A-Predictor-Of-Construction-Demand

The American Institute of Architects Architecture Billings Index [1] is derived from a monthly survey of its AIA members (more than 300 firms participate) referred to “Work-on-the-Boards.” [2] The index was introduced in 2005 but has 12 years of data.

Here’s the white paper. [3]

This trade group is basically taking its billings and using it to project construction expenditures over the next 6 months. It’s a creative leverage of its members statistics but I am not clear whether it reliable since I haven’t heard of it before. Needless to say, its a different approach to anticipating future demand for construction.

March stats released today show “weakness.” [4]

Business conditions continued to soften in March as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell to 39.7. Weakness persisted in all regions of the country and across all sectors of practice.

This index correlates well with the drop in new home sales [5]and suggests that the new home sale metric will be weak for the remainder of the year.