If you want to get the earliest forecast for the commercial real estate (CRE) market, you have to find out what the architects are doing. The Architecture Billing Index is a 9 – 12 month leading indicator of construction spending in CRE. The index increased in March to 46.1 from a rating of 44.8 in February. An index above 50 represents expansion of investment.
This is a good sign for CRE considering everyone believes it’s the next bubble to burst. My thought is: how can CRE really be that bad if architectural business is seeing an increase in activity and a recovery. The ABI might even be above 50 by the end of summer! Can you imagine how hard activity will snap back due to the depleted pipeline???