Architectural Billings Index

Architectural Billings Index: May’s 2022 national Architectural Billings Index of 53.5 was down 3.0 points from April’s 56.5, which is within the expansionary zone, (>50). U.S. architecture firms specializing in multifamily residential and Institutional all reported an increase in design activity in May.

The design contracts sub-index increased by 1.5 points to 56.9. Regional monthly scores were – South: 52.3, West: 59.3, Midwest: 56.8, and Northeast 51.4.

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to 12-month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The results are seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. Scores above 50 indicate an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicate a decline.

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Figure 1 lists the overall ABI and its sub-indexes. It presents and compares monthly and 3MMA data, showing percentage point change on both a three and 12-month basis, as well as momentum. Green denotes positive change, while red indicates negative. National momentum, (3-month y/y minus 12-month y/y) was down 15.8% while design contract momentum decreased 16.6%. Regionally, all zones posted a negative momentum, ranging from 9.9% in the West to 22.7% in the Midwest. Commercial / industrial, Institutional, and Multi-Family Residential facilities also posted a negative momentum.

At Gerdau, we follow the ABI because it is a leading indicator of non-residential construction activity with an approximate nine to 12-month lead time to groundbreaking. The ABI has a proven track record and, as such, it is useful for business planning purposes.



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