After a Surprise Uptick, AIA’s Architectural Billings Index Takes a Dive Once More

If you thought the massive jump in last month’s Architectural Billings Index meant the recession was now over and it would be nothing but champagne wishes and caviar dreams from here on out, then you clearly haven’t been watching the roller coaster that is the American Institute of Architects‘ monthly report closely enough. After a surprising and hopeful six point leap up to near pre-financial collapse numbers, the Index took a near-equal tumble in the opposite direction, down to 46.9 (anything above 50 indicates an increase in billings and, more vaguely, the general health of the industry). Per usual, it was the AIA’s man of numbers who had to break the sobering news very soberly:

“It appears that the positive conditions seen last month were more of an aberration,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The economy is weak enough at present that design activity is bouncing around more than usual; one strong month can be followed by a weak one. The economy needs to be stronger to generate sustained growth in design activity.”