Typically, I love receiving AIA's Architectural Billings Index (ABI) figures--it's my favorite economic indicator. But it's definitely less fun when the ABI is less than 50 (any value greater than 50 means that architecture billings are increasing; conversely, any value less than 50 means billings are decreasing). So when April 2014's ABI came in at 49.6, I was a bit disappointed. The silver lining: it's up from March's 48.8 figure. Huzzah…
As always, the details are a bit more revealing.
Regional (three month) Averages for April 2014:
The west's slide to contraction is discouraging, as it's been fairly hot for a while. The south is booming and has been strong for a while.
Sector Averages for April 2014:
Another bright spot (so long as we're looking for silver linings): the Inquiry Index is at 59.1, up from 57.9 in March. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker states that "Despite an easing in demand for architectural services over the past couple of months, there is a pervading sense of optimism that business conditions are poised to improve at the year moves on."