The American Institute of Architects (AIA) made us wait a few days longer than normal, but it was worth it. The May installment of the Architecture Billing Index (ABI) dropped this morning and they have reached another record high of 58.5, exceeding the previous record of 57.9 set last month. A value greater than 50 means that architecture billings are increasing; conversely, any value less than 50 means billings are decreasing. The ABI is a nine-to-12 month leading indicator of construction activity. Spoiler alert: the construction industry is poised to get even busier of the next year.
Regionally, the South has been the hottest market for some time, but this month's data reveals an interesting plot twist:
As far as market sectors are concerned, May was a month of increases across the board:
If there is one source of concern (and I am digging deep here), it would be project inquiries, which slipped from a record of 70.8 in April to 69.2 in May. This is still a great result but my proclivity for pessimism needs to show itself somewhere. Great, now I'll shove it back into the recesses of my soul so we can enjoy the overwise great news.
Let's keep this party going!