According to a new report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA), demand for design services in May 2019 remained essentially flat in comparison to the previous month.
AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for May 2019 showed a small increase in design services at 50.2, which is slightly down from 50.5 in April. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. Both the project inquiries index and the design contracts index softened in May but remained positive.
"The last four consecutive months, firm billings have either decreased or been flat, the longest period of that level of sustained softness since 2012," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.
"While both inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts remained positive, they both softened in May, another sign the amount of pending work in the pipeline at firms may be starting to stabilize."
Key ABI highlights for May include:
Regional averages: Midwest (51.6); South (51.4); West (50.0); Northeast (47.5)
Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (55.4); commercial/industrial (53.0); institutional (48.0); multi-family residential (46.0)
The Federal Reserve cut its federal funds rate today by 25 basis points (bps) to a range of 2.0% to 2.25%. This cut represents a marked change in the direction of monetary policy in the first half of 2019.
Marking the one-year anniversary of the White House executive order on workforce development this week, Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders issued the following statement
Existing-home sales in the U.S. weakened in June 2019, as total sales saw a small decline after a previous month of gains. While two of the four major U.S. regions recorded minor sales jumps, the other two - the South and the West - experienced greater declines last month.
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, after declining for most of 2019, U.S. mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this first week of July. The recent stabilization in mortgage rates reflects modestly improving U.S. economic data.
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