Architects not seeing work, despite funding

A small increase in construction spending might be on the horizon, as the American Institute of Architects’ Billings Index climbed approximately two points in February, after declining three points a month earlier. The score in February, which AIA reported yesterday, was 44.8, while January’s was 42.5. Even so, things are not sunny for the design industry. A score below 50 “indicates a continued decline in demand for design services,” according to the report, and Kermit Baker, chief economist with AIA, said that the outlook is shaky. “We continue to hear that funding dedicated for construction projects in the stimulus package has not yet been awarded, resulting in a bottleneck of potential projects that could help jumpstart the economy,” Baker said. “That, coupled with a persistently rigid credit market for private sector projects, is a key reason why the design and construction industry continue to suffer at near historic levels in terms of job losses.” TRD

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