Representing a surprise third quarter upturn in projects, the Washington-based American Institute of Architects is reporting the highest level of new billed projects since the fall of last year.
The Institute’s Architecture Billings Index increased from 49.7 in September to 52.0 in October.
Surveying architectural firms nationally on a mon-th-tomonth basis, the billings index uses a 0 to 100 measure, with any score below 50 representing a decrease in billings from the previous month.
According to a statement issued by the AIA upon the release of the latest index findings, “Architectural firms remain cautiously optimistic about the future, despite ongoing concerns about a potential economic downturn in the next year.”
The survey also revealed what is being called “pockets of softness” in the industry, with billings at architectural firms in the Northeast once again declining, as they have been since the winter of this year.
While billings were mostly flat in Midwestern architectural firms, “Business conditions remained strongest at firms located in the South and continued to strengthen at firms located in the West, where they increased for a sixth month in a row.”
The billings index specifically showed a 47.2 score in the Northeast, 49.9 score in the Midwest, 55.5 score in the South, and 51.3 score in the eleven states making up the West region, including Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The AIA statement also indicated that firms with a multifamily residential specialization remained “the only group to report increasing firm billings in October.”
Billings were “essentially flat at firms with institutional and commercial/industrial specialization.”
By Garry Boulard
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