Volume 50, Issue 12 - December 2015


ABI Stays Strong

Nearly all construction project types have seen increasing levels of demand for design services the majority of the year, as reported in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI score was 53.1, down slightly from 53.7 in the previous month. This score still reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.5, down from a reading of 61.0 the previous month.

October 2014 October 2015
ABI Score
53.7 53.1
New Projects Inquiry Score
62.7 58.5

Dodge Momentum Index Dips in October

The Dodge Momentum Index fell 4.8 percent in October to 125.2 after a strong September reading of 131.5, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The decline nearly reverses September’s gain of 5.2 percent, which had been bolstered by a sharp increase for institutional building projects at the planning stage.
Compared to the same month a year ago, the Momentum Index in October was still up 4.8 percent, with increases for both the commercial and institutional sectors.

Dodge Momentum Index (Year 2000=100)
% Change Oct.
Dodge Momentum index 131.5 125.2 -4.8% 125.5 125.2
Commercial building 140.0 133.0 -5.0% 130.2 133.0
Institutional building 120.9 115.5 -4.5% 119.8 115.5
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics

New Construction Starts in October Climb 13 Percent

New construction starts in October advanced 13 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $591.1 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.Much of October’s gain for total construction was due to a sharp rebound by nonresidential building, with additional support coming from a moderate upturn for housing as the result of further strengthening by multifamily housing.

Monthly Construction Starts Seasonally adjusted annual rates, in millions of U.S. dollars
  Sept. 2015 Oct. 2015 % Change
Nonresidential building $152,523 $200,710 +32
Residential building 239,002 260,281 +9
Nonbuilding construction 133,603 130,151 -3
Total construction $525,128 $591,142 +13

Year-to-date construction starts Unadjusted totals, in millions of dollars
  10 Mos. 2014 10 Mos. 2015 % Change
Nonresidential building $184,340 $173,040 -6
Residential building 195,108 223,903 +15
Nonbuilding construction 155,001 120,206 +29
Total construction $499,654 $551,944 +10
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics

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