Volume 51, Issue 2 - February 2016


2015 Marks a Good Year for ABI

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) finished 2015 in positive terrain, recording month-to-month increases in eight of the year’s 12 months.

The American Institute of Architects reported the December ABI score was 50.9, up from the mark of 49.3 in the previous month. This score reflects a slight increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.2, up from a reading of 58.6 the previous month.
December 2014 December 2015
ABI Score
52.2 50.9
New Projects Inquiry Score
58.2 60.2

Dodge Momentum Index Bounces Back

The Dodge Momentum Index rebounded in December with a 4.1-percent increase from its November reading of 120.3, reversing a 3.6-percent decline in November.

The 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 by a full year.

The December rise was mostly spread between a 4.7-percent increase for institutional projects and a 3.6-percent increase for commercial projects. On a year-over-year basis, the index finished 2015 up 2.4 percent from its reading at the end of 2014.

Dodge Momentum Index (Year 2000=100)
% Change Dec.
Dodge Momentum index 120.3 125.2 4.1% 128.7
Commercial building 118.8 123.1 3.6% 138
Institutional building 122.2 127.9 4.7% 117.3 127.9
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics

Construction Starts Increase in December

New construction starts in December advanced 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $591.6 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. The December gain follows a 5-percent decline in November.

December showed modest increases for each of the three main construction sectors, including nonresidential building, which grew 3 percent for the month but dipped 8 percent for the year.

For 2015 as a whole, total construction starts climbed 8 percent to $645.5 billion. The December statistics produced a reading of 125 for the Dodge Index, compared to a revised 120 for November.
Monthly Construction Starts
Seasonally adjusted annual rates, in millions of U.S. dollars
  Nov. 2015 Dec. 2015 % Change
Nonresidential building $174,156 $178,540 +3
Residential building 262,996 278,062 +6
Nonbuilding construction 131,609 134,975 +3
Total construction $568,761 $591,577 +4

Year-to-date construction starts
Unadjusted totals, in millions of dollars
  4 Mos. 2014 4 Mos. 2015 % Change
Nonresidential building $221,342 $204,151 -8
Residential building 232,049 265,376 +14
Nonbuilding construction 143,672 176,020 +23
Total construction $597,096 $645,547 +8
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics

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