After the last few bouts of optimistic highs and crushing lows, the American Institute of Architects‘ Architecture Billings Index still seems unable to make up its mind as to where it would like to land and settle for awhile. Last month, you might recall the that industry-gauging index took a tremendous dive, following its huge jump the month prior. Now the AIA reports that things are back up again, moving almost three full points from 46.9 to 49.4, taking it to near break-even levels (anything above or below 50 indicates increases and decreases in billings, respectively). After a summer of free fall and then this latest slew of ups and downs, it seems that few would be willing to make any assured predictions on what will happen next. Among that crowd would certainly be the AIA’s numbers expert, who remains as cautious and careful as ever:
“An increase in the billings index is always an encouraging sign,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We’re seeing some regions and some construction sectors move into positive territory. But there continues to be a high level of volatility in the marketplace with architecture firms reporting a wide range of conditions from improving to uncertain to poor. It’s likely we will see a similar state of affairs in the coming months.”
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