Alright, it's that time of month...time to look about a year into the future to see how the construction industry likely to play out. The ABI records architectural billings on commercial building projects. Any value greater than 50 means that architecture billings are increasing; conversely, any value less than 50 means billings are decreasing. The ABI is a leading indicator of commercial building construction by approximately nine to 12 months.
You may recall that last month, the ABI went below 50 reflecting a turbulent January. This month, the ABI crept up back into the growth phase to 50.3 for February, up from January's 49.6. The new project inquiry metric increased to 59.5 for February, up from 55.3 in January.
Here's is the regional breakdown:
Sector Averages for January 2016:
This month's data is a bit of a mixed bag. If you live in the south or work in multi-family, no need to sweat. Everywhere else, it seems like everyone is treading water. Many economists are hypothesizing the a slowdown is inevitable because of a lack of labor. That's a bit of a first-world problem for those of us in the industry: the market is slowing because your precious skills are in such high demand. The long-term health of the construction industry seems to be strong.