Volume 51, Issue 1 - January 2016

IndustryOutlook

ABI Takes a Dip

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) declined in November, with a score of 49.3. That compares to 53.1 the previous month, according to the American Institute of Architects.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the roughly nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. November’s score shows a decrease in design services, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, barely up from a reading of 58.5 the previous month.
November 2014 November 2015
ABI Score
50.9 49.3
New Projects Inquiry Score
58.8 58.6



Dodge Momentum Index Falls in November


The Dodge Momentum Index fell 3.7 percent in November to 119.9 (2000=100) from its October reading of 124.5. The index had posted large month-to-month increases in July (+4.6 percent) and September (+4.9 percent). The loss of momentum seen in October and again in November returned the index to a level that’s more consistent with the gentle upward trend in planning activity that began in 2012. The decline in November for the overall index was the result of a 10.2-percent slide in commercial planning activity.

Dodge Momentum Index (Year 2000=100)
  Oct.
2015
Nov.
2015
% Change Nov.
2014
Nov.
2015
Dodge Momentum index 124.5 119.1 -3.7 125.0
124.5
Commercial building 132.1 118.7 -10.2 133.0
118.7
Institutional building 115.0 121.1 5.3 114.3 121.1
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics



Nonresidential Building Retreats in November

New construction starts fell 5 percent in November, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Starts for the month recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $563.3 billion.

During the first 11 months of 2015, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $597.9 billion, up 8 percent from the same period a year ago.

The November statistics lowered the Dodge Index to 119, compared to 125 in October.
Monthly Construction Starts
Seasonally adjusted annual rates, in millions of U.S. dollars
  Oct. 2015 Nov. 2015 % Change
Nonresidential building $200,749 $175,384 -13
Residential building 261,992 257,387 -2
Nonbuilding construction 130,589 130,489 0
Total construction $593,330 $563,260 -5

Year-to-date construction starts
Unadjusted totals, in millions of dollars
  11 Mos. 2014 11 Mos. 2015 % Change
Nonresidential building $205,610 $188,817 -8
Residential building 312,054 243,337 +14
Nonbuilding construction 135,006 165,713 +23
Total construction $553,670 $597,867 +8
Source: Dodge Data & Analytics

USG
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