Construction industry still struggling

Sep 24, 2009 | 12:00 PM | Corinna Petry

Another stall in the recovery of the construction industry was recorded last month in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), which dropped to its lowest level since June.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) put the August ABI rating at 41.7, down from 43.1 in July. This score indicates a decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 55.2.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects a nine- to 12-month lag between architecture billings and construction spending.

"The overwhelming majority of architects are reporting that banks are extremely reluctant to provide financing for projects and that new equity requirements and conservative appraisals are making it even more difficult for developers to get loans," Kermit Baker, AIA's chief economist, explained. "Until the anxiety within the financial community eases, these conditions are likely to continue."....





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