Volume 48, Issue 8- August 2013


ABI Stays Positive in June
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), which reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending, was positive in June after the first decline in ten months in April. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 51.6, down from a mark of 52.9 in May. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, up from the 59.1 reading in May.

Dodge Momentum Pauses in June

The Dodge Momentum Index receded in June from the previous month, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. The Momentum Index is a monthly measure of the first (or initial) report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. After six consecutive monthly increases, the Momentum Index in June slipped 1.5 percent to 113.8, down from a revised reading of 115.5 for May.

The June Momentum Index revealed a mixed reading for its two major components, as a sharp increase in plans for institutional buildings offset a drop in commercial development. New plans for institutional buildings rose 6.5 percent in June.

Construction Industry Stands 13,000 Jobs Strong

The nationís construction industry unemployment rate dipped to its lowest rate in nearly six years following an addition of 13,000 jobs in June, according to the latest report by the Department of Labor. The boost in job numbers was the catalyst behind the industry unemployment rateís fall to 9.8 percent, its lowest mark since September 2007. Since June 2012, the industry has added 190,000 jobs for an increase of 3.4 percent. Overall, the nation has added 195,000 jobs as the private sector expanded by 202,000 jobs and the public sector shrank by 7,000 jobs. The nationís overall unemployment rate remains unchanged at 7.6 percent, but is lower than the 8.2 percent registered in June 2012.

Nonresidential Spending Inches Up

In a further sign of slow economic recovery, the nationís nonresidential construction spending inched up 0.1 percent in May, according to the July 2 report by the U.S. Commerce Department.

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