After a constructive, however uneven, upward pattern within the January 2022 Structure Billings Index (ABI) report final month, the numbers for February 2022 launched at present by the AIA paint an analogous image.
The ABI continued to inch increased because the composite index measured 51.3 in February, barely up from the 51.0 seen in January (something over 50 for the composite index represents a rise from the month earlier than, something below a lower). This marks yet one more consecutive month of constructive progress since February of 2021 as demand for architectural companies flourished within the face of the pandemic, however it’s unsure how lengthy this bull market will proceed. Ongoing provide chain points and a contraction of regional demand within the West and Southeast may finally drag the ABI into destructive territory sooner or later this 12 months.
“Regardless of the continued wholesome demand for design companies, exercise is plateauing as corporations face a myriad of exterior challenges, from staffing to provide chain disruptions to excessive inflation and rising rates of interest,” mentioned AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, in a press launch. “Whereas the rebound from the pandemic has positively impacted corporations in most areas, the extended lack of demand for design companies within the Northeast is of rising concern.”
Breaking down the composite determine, the measure between curiosity in new tasks and signed contracts solely widened. In February, the measure of inquiries into new tasks grew from 61.9 in January to 62.5, indicating that demand from householders and builders remains to be sturdy. Though that’s the case, and precise signed design contracts grew to 55.2 in February from 56.1 in January, the tempo isn’t as quick because it had been the month earlier than.
On a region-by-region foundation, the AIA identified that the February ABI figures marked the sixth straight month of a lower in billings for the Northeast; the realm noticed billings fall to 44.3 in February, down even farther from the 46.8 in January. The West was an analogous story, charting 47.9 final month from 47.6 the month prior. The South remained the strongest performer, with billings measured at 58.6 in February, constructive however not as sizzling because the 61.2 recorded in January. Lastly, the Midwest elevated barely, coming in at 53.2 in February, up from a tepid 51.5 in January.
It’s a case of “extra of the identical” within the breakdown of billings at agency by apply sort—places of work specializing in institutional work, lengthy thought a protected harbor throughout financial downtowns, proceed to undergo. Billings contracted once more 47.2 in February from 47.3 in January. The strongest performer crown went to corporations with a mixture of business and/or industrial tasks on the boards, at 55.4 in February from 54.2 the month prior, doubtless a results of the loosening of COVID restrictions and the return of public foot site visitors. In the meantime, mixed-practice corporations, beforehand the strongest performers, noticed billings transfer right down to 53.8 in February from a a lot stronger 60.6 in January. Lastly, corporations specializing in multi-family residential tasks continued to see demand improve, however slower than final 12 months’s increase, measuring 52.6 final month, a slight improve from the 50.1 determine seen in January.