Industry News

2006 could be good year for nonresidential construction

Architecture billings hint at upturn

Billings at U.S. architecture firms were positive every month in 2005 for the first time since 2000, pointing toward 2006 being the best year for nonresidential construction in six years, an architects' group reported today. The Architecture Billings Index, a leading economic indicator of nonresidential construction activity, had a rating of 50.4 in December 2005 (any score above 50 indicates a positive score), compared to 58.4 for November 2005 and 47.8 for December 2004, the American Institute of Architects said. Because there is a six-month lag time between architecture billings and nonresidential construction activity the overall economy is expected to benefit from the increased activity in this sector in 2006 and 2007, as well as help offset a slowing residential market, the institute said. With construction accounting for 9 percent of the gross domestic product, increased nonresidential activity could ease the effects of a projected slowdown in the residential market, according...