Nonresidential future indicator positive for 5th straight month

Compiled from a sentiment survey of architectural firm executives, the monthly “work on the boards” survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is said to be a good leading indicator of nonresidential construction—providing a look at conditions nine to 12 months ahead.

Above: Historical readings of the AIA “work on the boards” index, going back to 1996, as posted to

AIA’s index reading—survey responses that are compiled into the Architecture Billing Index—came in at 50.4 for March. That’s down from February’s 51.0, but still above the “50” dividing line between expansion and the opposite of expansion.

Kermit Baker, Ph.D., chief economist for AIA, said, “…progress is likely to be measured in inches rather than miles for the next few months.”

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