Tag: architecture billings

China Sets Oil Import Quotas; ABI Ends 2016 on a 1-Year High

China Sets Oil Import Quotas; ABI Ends 2016 on a 1-Year High

China has issued its first batch of crude oil import quotas for non-state companies at 68.81 million metric tons, or 1.38 million barrels per day (bpd), four refining sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
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29 Companies received quotas, including independent refiners and trading companies, the sources said, citing an official document.

Architecture Billings End Year Strong

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) concluded the year positive, with the December reading capping off three straight months of growth in design billings. As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects an approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.
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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 55.9, up sharply from 50.6 in the previous month. This score reflects the largest increase in design services in 2016 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

Architecture Billings Slip in August, Negative for Only the 2nd Time in 2016

Architecture Billings Slip in August, Negative for Only the 2nd Time in 2016

On the heels of six out of seven months of increasing levels of demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell just below the positive mark in August.

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An economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects reported the August ABI score was 49.7, down from the mark of 51.5 in the previous month. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

“This is only the second month this year where demand for architectural services has declined and it is only by a fraction of a point,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “It doesn’t appear that this is the beginning of a broader downturn in the design and construction industry.”

Architecture Billings Index Close to a 1-Year High in May

Architecture Billings Index Close to a 1-Year High in May

Led by an active multifamily housing market and sustained by solid levels of demand for new commercial and retail properties, the Architecture Billings Index reached its highest score in nearly a year in May.

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 53.1, up sharply from the mark of 50.6 in the previous month. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

“Business conditions at design firms have hovered around the breakeven rate for the better part of this year,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Demand levels are solid across the board for all project types at the moment. Of particular note, the recent surge in design activity for institutional projects could be a harbinger of a new round of growth in the broader construction industry in the months ahead.”

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Commercial construction spending fell 3.7% to $72.0 billion in April, but remains 6.8% above April of 2015. Educational construction spending was down 2.4% to $88.4 billion, still 5.4% greater than April a year ago.

If design services are, indeed, in healthy demand then spending should pick up accordingly in the roughly one year between design services and actual construction breaks ground.

US Trade Deficit Widened in January

US Trade Deficit Widened in January

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in January while architecture billings were slightly up in February.

Trade Deficit Widens

The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in January as a strong dollar and weak global demand helped to push exports to a more than five-and-a-half-year low, suggesting trade will continue to weigh on economic growth in the first quarter.

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The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap increased 2.2% to $45.7 billion. December’s trade deficit was revised up to $44.7 billion from the previously reported $43.4 billion. Exports have declined for four straight months.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit widening to $44.0 billion in January. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit increased to $61.97 billion from $60.09 billion in December.

ABI Up in February

The Architecture Billings Index saw a dip into negative terrain for the first time in five months in January, but inched back up in February with a small increase in demand for design services.

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As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects an approximate nine-to-12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 50.3, up slightly from the mark of 49.6 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.5, up from a reading of 55.3 the previous month.

Congressional Deal Will Lift US Oil Export Ban, Architecture Billings Fall

Congressional Deal Will Lift US Oil Export Ban, Architecture Billings Fall

Congressional leaders have agreed to lift the nation’s 40-year-old ban on oil exports, a historic action that reflects political and economic shifts driven by a boom in US oil drilling. Just a few months ago, any lifting of the ban was thought to be far away but the congressional new tax and spending deal is said to have broad, bipartisan support.

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The measure allowing oil exports is at the center of a deal congressional leaders announced early Wednesday on spending and tax legislation. Both the House and Senate still must pass it and President Barack Obama must sign it into law.

The deal would lift the ban, a priority for republicans and the oil industry, and at the same time adopt environmental and renewable measures that democrats sought.

Architecture Billings Falls in November

The Architecture Billings Index dipped in November. An economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine-to-12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

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The American Institute of Architects reported the November ABI score was 49.3, down from the mark of 53.1 in the previous month. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

Architecture Billings Up in July, But Nonresidential Growth Is Slowing Down

Architecture Billings Up in July, But Nonresidential Growth Is Slowing Down

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), an indicator of demand for design services, is showing strong markets for nearly all US nonresidential project types.

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An economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects an approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the July ABI score was 54.7, down a point from a mark of 55.7 in June.

This score still reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 63.7, up slightly from a reading of 63.4 the previous month.

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“On top of what has been a flurry of design activity in recent months, some architects are reporting a break in the logjam created by clients placing projects on hold for indefinite periods, which bodes well for business conditions in the months ahead,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There is some uneasiness in the design community that rapid growth in construction costs could escalate beyond development capital and municipal budgets, which could trigger some contraction in the marketplace down the road.”

Key July ABI Highlights

  • Regional averages: Midwest (58.2), South (55.7), West (53.8) Northeast (53.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (57.3), mixed practice (56.8), commercial / industrial (53.4) multi-family residential (49.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 63.7
  • Design contracts index: 54.5

Architecture Billings at Highest Mark Since 2007, What Happened During Monday’s Gold Rout?

Architecture Billings at Highest Mark Since 2007, What Happened During Monday’s Gold Rout?

Architecture billings hit an eight-year high this month and several large, Asian sell orders triggered the big gold sell-off on Monday.

ABI Strong in All Sectors

Paced by continued demand for projects such as new education and healthcare facilities, public safety and government buildings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) increased in June following fluctuations earlier this year. An economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects an approximate nine-to-twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 55.7, up substantially from a mark of 51.9 in May. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

This is the highest score for the ABI since 2007.

  • Regional averages: Midwest (57.2), South (54.9), West (50.7) Northeast (50.4)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (59.1), mixed practice (54.7), commercial / industrial (51.6) multi-family residential (47.0)
  • Design contracts index: 52.5

How Gold Dropped Below $1,100 an Ounce

In early Asian trading hours on Monday, when typically only tens of contracts of gold are traded, investors dumped more than $500 million worth of bullion in New York in four seconds, triggering the market’s biggest rout in years.

The sell-off began when one or more massive sell orders hit the price of gold on the CME Group‘s Comex futures index in New York a tenth of a second after 9:29 a.m. in Shanghai, triggering turnover of almost 5,000 lots of gold. That equates to 13 metric tons of gold, more than typically trades in hours this early in the day. The sales knocked the price almost $20 to $1,100 per ounce during those four seconds.

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Architecture Billings Up Again, Morgan Stanley Slashes its Nickel Price Forecast

Architecture billings increased in May, while Morgan Stanley changed its forecast for nickel prices to a more bearish outlook.

ABI Back in Positive Territory

Led by growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) increased in May following its second monthly drop this year. As an economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects an approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

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“As has been the case for the past several years, while the design and construction industry has been in a recovery phase, we continue to receive mixed signals on business conditions in the marketplace,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Generally, the business climate is favorable, but there are still construction sectors and regions of the country that are struggling, producing the occasional backslide in the midst of what seems to be growing momentum for the entire industry.”

Morgan Stanley Bearish on Nickel

Morgan Stanley slashed its nickel price forecasts for the second half of the year Tuesday as demand from stainless steel producers continues to be undermined by a deteriorating outlook for global growth. The bank cut its third quarter 2015 nickel price forecast by 12% to $13,228 a metric ton; and its fourth quarter outlook by 10% to $13,448 a metric ton.

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