Aug 20 The Architecture Billings Index,
considered a leading indicator of U.S. non-residential
construction, rose in July to a seven-year high, the American
Institute of Architects said on Wednesday.
The ABI rose to 55.8 in July, from 53.5 in June, reflecting
an increase in design activity.
"The last three months have shown steadily increasing demand
for design services, and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI)
is now at its highest level since 2007," the institute said in a
The index, which is based on a survey of U.S. architects,
reflects the roughly nine to 12 months between architecture
billings and construction spending. A reading above 50 indicates
expanding demand for architects' services.
Industrial companies and their investors track the monthly
indexes as an indicator of future demand for machinery and
components used to erect buildings.
The improving index represents the latest evidence of a
stronger recovery of the U.S. non-residential construction
market. Several U.S. manufacturers whose fortunes are linked to
non-residential construction spending cited rising orders and
increasing optimism during their most recent quarterly earnings
"Business conditions for the design and construction
marketplace, and those industries associated with it, appear to
be well positioned for continued growth in the coming months,"
Kermit Baker, chief economist with the AIA, said in the
A separate measure of new projects ticked down to 66 from
66.4 in June. The architects' group characterized the June level
as "very strong."
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Leslie Adler)