The AIA reported an increase in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for January. A score of 54.2 reflects fast growth from December’s score of 51.2. In addition, there is strong growth in the new projects inquiry index, resulting in a reading of 63.2. This is up from last month’s new project inquiries index of 57.9.
Kermit Baker, the AIA’s Chief Economist, commented that “a continued reservation by lending institutions to supply financing for construction projects is preventing a more widespread recovery in the industry,” but that the ABI score is still the best sign that we will see an upturn in construction activity in 2013.
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This report comes on the heels of significant interest in the ABI’s steady growth over the past six months. In November 2012, the AIA reported that, despite the recent improvements in the economy, more than half of the responding firms cited coping with an unpredictable economy as one of their biggest concerns for 2013. While experts are cautiously optimistic, most still have questions about how sequestration and the debt ceiling negotiations will affect construction in the coming year.
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