Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AIA ABI Index for July 2010 - Very slight increase from last month, but still showing declining demand

COMMENT: Right at this moment, it is 4:12 a.m. east coast USA time and 10:12 am where I am in Europe. I just noticed an article, on Yahoo Asia, about the July 2010 AIA ABI Index ..... so, here it is ..... (Yahoo attributes the article to, but I was unable to find the article on Reuters) ......

U.S. architecture billings index up in July -AIA
Reuters - Wednesday, August 18

* AIA July billings index up 1.9 pts to 47.9

* Project inquiries index drops 4.6 pts to 53.1

* Conditions remain volatile, trade group says

NEW YORK, Aug 18 - A closely watched leading indicator of U.S. nonresidential construction spending rose in July but remained at a level that indicates falling demand for the 30th consecutive month, an architects' trade group said on Wednesday.

The Architecture Billings Index was up 1.9 points last month to 47.9, the American Institute of Architects said. A forward-looking index of project inquiries fell 4.6 points to 53.1.

Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below 50 point to declining demand. Inquiries have stayed above 50 in recent months as builders seek multiple bids for design projects.

Business conditions remain volatile amid tight credit for construction. A weak economy, depressed real estate values and high unemployment have meant less need to put up structures like stores and office buildings.

"We continue to receive a mixed bag of feedback on the condition of the design market, from improving to flat to being paralyzed by uncertainty," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.

None of the four geographic regions tracked by the group was above 50, and only the commercial/industrial sector was above that mark in July.

The AIA's billings index is an indicator of construction spending nine to 12 months in the future, so current readings suggest a recovery will not take root until sometime in 2011.

The index is cited by companies that sell into the sector as a reliable gauge of demand. The AIA has forecast a 20 percent drop in spending on nonresidential construction this year, followed by a modest rebound in 2011.

Most diversified industrial companies derive at least some revenue from the nonresidential sector, selling machinery used in construction or the components of a building: elevators, electrical and lighting systems, heating and cooling and security networks, for example.

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