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The American Institute of Architects’ ABI Index – a leading economic indicator of nonresidential construction activity 9-12 months into the future – remained unchanged from November at 52.0 in December, the highest level in a year and the first time the ABI Index has seen consecutive readings over 50 since February and March of 2011. The reading above 50 means the number of architects reporting “rising billings” outpaced the number reporting “declining billings.”
At 64.0 in December, the new inquiries index was the third highest since January 2007, despite falling from 65.0 in November. While we are typically a bit cautious about putting too
much weight on the new inquiries index because it does not account for rebidding, we would note that the new inquiries index has been much higher the past two months than during the
first 10 months of the year when it ranged from 52.6 to 58.7 and the significantly higher readings have in fact coincided with higher overall ABI readings.
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