While it is not yet in the positive phase, in August the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) improved for the third consecutive month. The AIA reported the August ABI score was 48.2, up slightly from the 47.9 in July, but still indicating a decline in demand for design services.
The new projects inquiry index also increased, moving from 53.1 in July to 54.6 in August.
“Project cancellations, regardless of when they happen in the design phase, continue to be the main road block to recovery for the construction sector,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Numerous projects have been put on hold indefinitely over the last several months with little hope that they will be resumed. Work that is being done is more likely smaller renovation projects, as opposed to new buildings.”