Architects report increase in design demand for the first time since the crash

October 20, 2010 02:30PM

The Architecture Billings Index — a key indicator of future U.S. construction spending — was positive for the first time since the economic downturn in September, the American Institute of Architects said today. September’s billings score was 50.4, up from 48.2 in August (any score above 50 indicates an increase in the demand for design services, which is supposed to translate to an increase in construction spending within nine to 12 months’ time). Inquiries about new projects, meanwhile, rose to 62.3 in September from 54.6 one month earlier, marking their highest level since July 2007. “This is certainly encouraging news, but we will need to see consistent improvement over the next few months in order to feel comfortable about the state of the design and construction industry,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker said. “While there has been increasing demand for design services, it is happening at a slow rate and there continue to be other obstacles that are preventing a more accelerated recovery. TRD