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Architecture billings end 1Q on good footing

The Architecture Billings Index rose 1.6 points to 51.9 in March, up from 50.3 a month earlier, and the Midwest was the only region to post a decline, Wells Fargo economic analysts said.

Commercial/industrial billings fell on the month but remain at 51.8, above the critical threshold of 50, said Anika R. Khan, senior economist, and Julianne Causey, an economic analyst.

Multifamily billings started to pick up steam, rising 2.7 points to 55.7, the analysts said.

“As we get deeper into the spring season, we expect nonresidential outlays to improve further but at a more modest pace, as industrial and institutional have already cooled off somewhat,” Khan and Causey said.

Following four straight months below the critical threshold, mixed billings rebounded in March, rising 2.3 points to 50.

A score above 50 indicates that firms in aggregate are reporting an increase in activity that month compared with the previous month, while a score below 50 indicates firms are reporting an activity decrease.

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