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Continued growth in US architects' workloads

Workloads for US architects have grown for the fifth consecutive month

The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index posted a score of 52 in December 2012.

This continues a run of scores above 50 – representing growth from the previous month – which started in August.

In a further boost for the recovering sector, a survey of construction economists predicted significant growth in almost all sectors this year.

The Midwest saw the greatest rise in December, recording 55.7 on the ABI.

The Northeast and the South also saw an increase in work, with the West marginally down at 49.6.

Multi-family residential work, which has led the recovery, saw the smallest growth in December at 50.5.

Commercial and industrial work increased by the largest amount at 53.4.

Perhaps most encouragingly, the new projects inquiry index read 59.4 in December.

This was backed up by a survey of construction forecasters carried out by the AIA.

The Consensus Construction Forecast predicted a hike in spending on 10 of 11 non-residential sectors.

Hotels work was expected to lead the way with 15.7 per cent growth in 2013, followed by the commercial and industrial sector with 8.6 per cent.

AIA chief economist Kermit Baker said: ‘After seeing construction activity see-saw for much of last year, there is a much stronger sense that we have entered a recovery phase. The industry is positioned to see continued economic improvement as we move through year and into 2014.’

He added that it was no longer just the housing sector that was leading the recovery in the US.

‘The resurgent housing market has led to a ripple effect where there is a need for more retail establishments and office buildings across the country.’

November saw the fastest growth in US architecture workloads for five years.

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