ABI score jumps, outlook remains muted
The Architecture Billings Index is a forward-looking indicator that tracks building design work and leads nonresidential construction activity by nine to 12 months. The score for new project inquiries rose in August to 57.9 from 56.1 the previous month, while the design contracts score dipped to 52.3 from 52.9 in July. Any score above 50 indicates growth in the sector. Despite the jump, AIA Chief Economist Kermin Baker said to expect a nationwide slowdown. AIA chief Economist Kermine Baker says to expect an nationwide slowdown beyond the timeframe the index precedes. For example, a nationwide slowdown beyond the index is due to mixed economic conditions across different geographic regions and construction types.