The Architectural Billings Index from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) rose more than 8 points in March to 43.7, marking a second consecutive month of improvement in non-residential construction activity. This is the highest the Index has been since last September.
While all four geographic regions remain below 50, a level that indicates improving demand, inquiries for projects rose 7 points to 56.6 for a third consecutive month. AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said the news should be viewed with cautious optimism. “The fact that inquiries for new projects increased is encouraging, but it will likely be a few months before we see an improvement.”
The AIA’s Billing Index, which began in 1995, is considered a measure of construction activity 9 to 12 month in the future.