The Real Deal Miami

Demand for U.S. design services up for first time in four months

December 22, 2011 04:18PM

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textA key indicator of future U.S. construction spending, the Architecture Billings Index was positive for the first time in four months in October, the American Institute of Architects said yesterday. AIA reported the November score was 52, following a score of 49.4 in October, reflecting an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 65, up dramatically from a reading of 57.3 the previous month. But the good news does not mean the country is in the clear. “Hopefully, this uptick in billings is a sign that a recovery phase is in the works,” said Kermit Baker, AIA’s chief economist. “However, given the volatility that we’ve seen nationally and internationally recently, we’ll need to see several more months of positive readings before we’ll have much confidence that the U.S. construction recession is ending.” — Lauren Elkies