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The Architecture Billings Index creaked positive in October but can’t break through – ArchPaper

After remaining “okay” in September, the Architecture Billings Index figures for October 2020 seem like a tentative step in the right direction

Time to get back to work or indicator of a stalled economy? (Samuel Regan-Asante/Unsplash)
Time to get back to work or indicator of a stalled economy? (Samuel Regan-Asante/Unsplash)

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After remaining “buoyant” but not positive in September, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) numbers were, again, stagnant in October—especially given that the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse across the United States.

The figures released today by the AIA seem to show a profession stuck in neutral. The ABI clocked in at 47.5 (anything under 50 is a decline from the prior month), sliding again for the eighth consecutive month. While a tick up from September’s 47.0, technically, it’s still negative.

However, there were bright spots indicating that things could pick up in the near future. New project inquiries increased from 57.2 in September, already positive, to 59.1 in October; perhaps developers and homeowners are bullish on the economy and the future. Additionally, newly signed contracts (the design contract index) trended positive for the first time since March, increasing to 51.7 in October from 48.9 the month before.

On a region-by-region basis, things improved as well. The ABI average in the West increased to 50.4 from a dour 45.6 in September, and the Midwest almost increased, reaching 49.4 (up from the previous 45.6). In the South, the needle moved from 43.7 in September to 45.8 last month, and the Northeast continued its streak of “worst-performing region,” moving from a paltry 41.5 in September to 44.9 in October.

Read on >>> Source: ArchPaper The Architecture Billings Index creaked positive in October but can’t break through

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