The Hanley Wood Data Studio reports that the AIA's monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 51.0 in March, marking the sixth consecutive month of gains.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S., and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, regionally, and by project type. A score above 50, as seen this month, represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.

New project activity coming into architecture firms continues to grow at a solid pace. As a result, project backlogs—in excess of six months at present—are at their highest post-recession level,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, in a press release. "Business remains strong in the South and West, and firms with a residential specialization continue to set the pace.”

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