By: Jennifer M. Horn
The Architectural Billings Index (ABI), an important construction indicator, continues to show increased construction activity and economic momentum in a recent 2012 report. For the fifth straight month, architectural billings increased. In addition, business conditions improved in all regions of the United States except for the western part of the country. The general and gradual sustained improvement is in accord with the predictions of leading economists.
For instance, in 2011, Anirban Basu, an economist from the Sage Policy Group, noted that leading economic indicators, including the ABI, had begun to show signs of life and pointed to the Mid-Atlantic region as a top economic performer.
At that time, in terms of U.S. production, the country was more than one and a half years into the economic recovery. This recovery has also been accompanied by a significant rally in financial markets in America and abroad. Correspondingly, construction indicators, such as the ABI.
A year later, we see the trend continuing, with firms in the commercial/industrial sector reporting the strongest gains.