Architecture Billings Index rebounds

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the July
Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rating was 51.8 (any score above 50
indicates an increase in billings), just above the 49.2 mark in June.

A modest increase in the July ABI, a leading economic indicator of
nonresidential construction activity, counters the previous two months
that showed slightly negative scores. The uptick can be attributed to
growth at commercial / industrial architecture firms. The latest figures
continue the pattern that suggests a strong outlook in the commercial
construction market well into 2007, based on the approximate six to nine
month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The Architecture Billings Index is derived from a monthly
"Work-on-the-Boards" survey and produced by the AIA Economics & Market
Research Group. Based on a comparison of data compiled since the
survey's inception in 1995 with figures from the Department of Commerce
on Construction Put in Place, the findings amount to a leading economic
indicator that provides an approximately six month glimpse into the
future of nonresidential construction activity.