The American Institute of Architects’ Architectural Billings Index (ABI) is a good leading indicator of construction activity that is published on a monthly basis.

The index is compiled nationally, regionally, and by sector and it generally predicts conditions in the construction market between six and nine months out. Index values above 50 indicate expansion, while values below 50 indicate a decline.

Following an unexpected dip in December of 2020, the AIA index has in the main continued to increase from its pandemic reductions, although it still has some way to go to reach the heights of early Q1 2020.  The South region continues to lead the pack, with January figures of 47.4. This is closely followed by the West and Midwest, with values of 42.8 and 42.4 respectively. The Northeast continues to trail with a figure of 41.9. These trends are expected to continue over the next quarter.

The institutional and residential sectors continue to be close, posting figures of 44.3 and 44.4 respectively, with industrial and commercial some way behind on 39.9.

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