(EMBARGOED TO MIDNIGHT ET TONIGHT)
* December ABI up 2.2 pts to 54.2
* Inquiries index up 1.2 pts to 62.6
* Construction industry moving toward recovery
NEW YORK, Jan 19 An index of spending on U.S.
architecture services, a leading indicator of nonresidential
construction activity, reached its best level since November
2007 last month, suggesting a U.S. building recovery is gaining
traction, an architects' trade group said on Wednesday.
The December architecture billings index rose more than 2
points last month to 54.2, from 52.0, reflecting increasing
demand for design services, according to the American Institute
A separate index of new project inquiries was up 1.2 points
to 62.6, on a scale where any number above 50 indicates rising
"This is more promising news that the design and
construction industry is continuing to move toward a recovery,"
said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.
The billings index is considered an indicator of
construction activity nine to 12 months in the future, and is
widely tracked by companies that generate sales from the
Most diversified industrial companies get at least some
revenue from nonresidential construction, selling machinery
used for erecting buildings or components such as elevators or
electrical and cooling systems.
A partial list includes Honeywell International Inc
(HON.N), Tyco International Ltd TYC.N, Johnson Controls
(JCI.N), Eaton Corp (ETN.N), Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N), Deere &
Co (DE.N) and Terex Corp (TEX.N). European companies, like
Philips (PHG.AS), Siemens (SIEGn.DE), Schneider Electric
(SCHN.PA), and lock maker Assa Abloy (ASSAb.ST) also
participate in the sector.
(Reporting by Nick Zieminski)