The folks at the American Institute of Architects, aia.org, publish an interesting set of data each month, collectively known as the Architecture Billing Index, or ABI. The main ABI represents actual billings that member firms have sent out in the previous month. They also have an ‘Inquiries Index’, which measures potential business as opposed to actual business.
The reason why I find examining the ABI so useful is that it correlates pretty well with GDP data, and we get the ABI data well ahead of the GDP numbers, which only come out quarterly and which take several weeks to tabulate before they are released.
The latest release out this week showed a value of 55 for the ABI, which is the 4th highest monthly reading since the 2009 depression. It says that there is strong demand for architectural services, which is a forerunner of actually building a new home or other type of building. The implication is that there is no slowdown to the building boom going on now, at least as far as such a slowdown might show up in the architectural services part of that market.
This post was published at FinancialSense on 12/21/2017.