Architecture Billings Index Slowed in March 2014WASHINGTON, DC -  The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) turned negative in March, reversing what had been a two-month recovery in demand for buidling design services - considered a leading economic indicator of construction activity, and a barometer of propsects for architectural woodworking subcontracts as well.

“This protracted softening in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market the last year and a half,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Hopefully, some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions over this past winter. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”

Architecture Billings Index Slowed in March 2014In his analysis by sector, Baker reports that architecture firms serving residential segments continue to report healthy conditions; commercial/industrial firms have seen more volatility in recent months after a generally positive 2013; and architectural firms serving institutional clients were stabilizing during the first half of last year, but have since reported seven straight monthly declines.

 

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