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Design billings remain up despite slower October

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Demand for design services remains high despite a dip in October, according to the American Institute of Architects.

The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index, a leading economic indicator of construction activity, came in with a score of 51.6 last month. That was down from 54.3 in September.

Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The ABI reflects lead time of nine to 12 months between architecture billings and construction spending.

The index posted accelerated demand for design services in July, August and September, according to the AIA.

“There continues to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding the overall U.S. economic outlook, and therefore, in the demand for nonresidential facilities, which often translates into slower progress on new building projects,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “That is particularly true when you factor in the federal government shutdown that delayed many projects that were in the planning or design phases.”

Regionally, the October ABI was highest in the west at 55.9. The Northeast was at the low end at 49.7. Multifamily residential topped the sector index breakdown at 57, while institutional billings came in at 50.2, which was the low end.

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, according to the AIA.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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