The commercial real estate sector helped drive the Architecture Billings Index into positive for the fourth consecutive month in February.
According to the American Institute of Architects, the Architecture Billings Index, which measures the lag time between billings and actual construction spending reached a score of 51 in February. While this is only a slight increase from 50.9 in January, it is the highest the index has been since 2007.
"This is more good news for the design and construction industry that continues to see improving business conditions," said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. "The factors that are preventing a more accelerated recovery are persistent caution from clients to move ahead with new projects, and a continued difficulty in accessing financing for projects that developers have decided to pursue."
Regionally, in the future, real estate property records from the index found that the Midwest can expect to see the greatest number of new non-residential construction as the area's score rose to 56, while the South performed second best at 51.3. In addition, the Northeast reported a rise to 51, matching the national average, while the West reported an index of 53.3.