Volume 49, Issue 3 - March 2014

IndustryOutlook

ABI Records Slight Rebound
After consecutive months of contracting demand for design services, there was a modest uptick in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for January, according to the latest report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

 

January 2013
January 2014
ABI Score
54.2
50.4
New-Projects Inquiry Index
63.2
58.5


The AIA reported that the January ABI score was 50.4, up from a mark of 48.5 in December. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.5, down a bit from the reading of 59.2 the previous month.

Dodge Momentum Index Rises in January
The Dodge Momentum Index rose 3.0 percent in January compared to the previous month, according to McGraw HillConstruction, 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.

January’s gain brought the Momentum Index to 121.1 (2000=100), compared to a revised 117.6 in December 2013. Except for two minor dips in June and October of 2013, the Momentum Index has been on a steady climb for over a year, according to the report.

Dodge Momentum Index (Year 2000=100)

Dec. 2013 Jan. 2014 % Change Dec. 2012 Jan. 2013 % Change
Dodge Momentum Index 117.6 121.1 3.0 95.1 97.6 2.7
Commercial Building 112.2 118.6 5.7 89.8 91.9 2.3
Institutional Building 124.4 124.3 0.0 101.5 104.7 3.1

Source: McGraw Hill Construction Dodge

Construction Employment Increases in 34 States

Construction firms added jobs in 34 states over the past 12 months, but construction employment declined in 32 states and the District of Columbia between November and December as many parts of the country coped with weather, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Top 5 States in Construction Employment (seasonally adjusted) Ranked by Latest 12-month % Change

          1-month gain or loss 12-month gain or loss
December 2012 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 Number % % rank Number % % rank
Mississippi 47,900 57,700 56,400 56,400 0 0.0% 18 8,500 17.7% 1
Connecticut 50,200 55,700 56,200 56,000 -200 -0.4% 22 5,800 11.6% 2
Florida 344,800 372,500 373,500 373,600 100 0.03% 17 28,800 8.4% 3
Wyoming 21,800 22,900 23,000 23,600 600 2.6% 3 1,800 8.3% 4
Georgia 139,500 147,800 152,400 149,400 -3,000 -2.0% 37 9,900 7.1% 5

Source: AGC/Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

AAMA/WDMA Predict Increase for Glazing
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) jointly released the December update to the “AAMA/WDMA 2012/2013 U.S. Industry Statistical Review and Forecast.” According to the report, nonresidential construction activity has experienced slow growth, although slightly higher than originally projected in April, though the net effect was negligible in categories favorable to nonresidential door volumes. Steady growth is forecast in 2013, with a projected increase of 4 percent, to be followed by a 6 percent increase in 2014 and a 12 percent increase in 2015, according to the report.


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