* October ABI up 2.5 pts to 49.4
* New projects index up 3 pts to 57.3
* AIA says demand for architects' services volatile
Nov 16 A leading indicator of U.S. construction
activity rebounded in October, an architects' trade group said
The architecture billings index rose 2.5 points last month
to 49.4, according the American Institute of Architects. Any
reading below 50 indicates an overall decrease in demand for
design services, a predictor of construction spending nine to
12 months in the future.
A separate index of inquiries for future projects rose 3
points to 57.3. That measure is more often above 50 as clients
reach out to multiple architecture firms.
October's rebound was encouraging, but demand for designs
remains volatile, the group said. Conditions in various regions
range from improving to poor and are likely to continue that
way in coming months, the AIA said.
Conditions are strongest in the U.S. Northeast and weakest
in the West.
A depressed construction market has been a headwind for
manufacturers of construction machinery and components that
make up buildings' infrastructure, such as electrical, cooling
and security systems.
Analysts who cover industrial stocks have called the
billings index as important an economic indicator as the
monthly industrial data from the Institute for Supply
Most diversified industrial companies get at least some
revenue from the nonresidential construction sector, which
includes office buildings, retail and warehouse space, and
institutional buildings such as schools and hospitals.
Companies exposed to the sector include Honeywell
International Inc , Tyco International Ltd ,
Ingersoll Rand , Eaton Corp , Caterpillar Inc , Deere & Co and Terex Corp .
European companies such as Siemens AG , Schneider
Electric SA and lock maker Assa Abloy are
also significant players in the sector.