Despite concern over rising construction costs and the limited availability of building materials, billings at U.S. architecture firms were positive for the 19th consecutive month in April, according to new seasonally adjusted figures from the American Institute of Architects. The Architecture Billings Index, a leading economic indicator of nonresidential construction activity, had an April rating of 54.2 (any score above 50 indicates an increase), up significantly from the 50.5 mark in March. "The protracted period of positive billings at architecture firms is more positive news for the nonresidential construction industry that should amount to sustained activity well into 2007," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. "The increasing costs and decreasing availability of building materia...
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