Hey there all you cool cats and kittens (yes, I'm opening with some Carole Baskin to distract from the impending bad news). Well, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Billing Index (ABI) had another bad month. Why do we care? Because the ABI is a leading indicator of commercial building construction by approximately nine to 12 months. Any value greater than 50 means that architecture billings are increasing; conversely, any value less than 50 means billings are decreasing. The ABI for April 2020 was (checks notes one more time in astonishment) 29.5. Sigh....
The fall from 53.4 in February to 33.3 in March was the worst fall in the index's 25 year history. April continues the plumb for new lows.
The regional breakdown for April 2020:
The Sector Averages for April 2020 are as follows:
I will reiterate what I said after last month's drubbing: the need for buildings, especially housing, didn't just dry up overnight. But as the likelihood of a "V" shaped recovery for the overall economy dims, it increasingly looks as if the design and construction industry is headed for hard times.