Industry News

Architecture billings level off in March

Northeast firms report strongest business conditions

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Despite some signs of slowing, billings at U.S. architecture firms were positive for the 18th consecutive month in March, 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 a March rating of 50.5 (any score above 50 indicates an increase), down from 55.5 in February. "While the index has leveled off a bit compared to previous scores, there are enough nonresidential projects slated to begin construction over the next several months that this month's numbers should not be cause for concern," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. "In terms of the nonresidential construction market, the retail, education and health-care sectors have all increased at a double-digit rate in February compared to year-ago levels." This news comes on the heels of the Census Bureau reporting that housing starts in March were lower than forecasted and finished with th...