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Happy New Year

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is now over, and everyone is starting to get back into the swing of things. And, if you're sitting at your desk reading this, then I guess it also means the Mayans were wrong about the world ending December 21. Which is a good thing. Especially since things are finally starting to look up in the construction market.

For the fourth month in a row, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has risen, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In November, the ABI score rose to 53.2, up from 52.8 in October, while the new projects inquiry index was 59.6, up from 59.4 the previous month.

"These are the strongest business conditions we have seen since the end of 2007 before the construction market collapse," says AIa Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA.

And after the past few years of distress during the economic and housing crisis, this increase in numbers hinting at a return to strong business conditions is a good thing. It means that architects are starting to have more projects to work on, which will hopefully lead to hiring more designers. This increase in projects also spills over to the manufacturers and construction areas, where there is more demand for products and more people needed to build the new projects.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Demand for Architects Builds Momentum" by Robbie Whelan, Baker is quoted as saying: "Construction Economics 101 would say … when you build homes, you need stores, you need schools, you need health care facilities, so it triggers this broader, supportive activity around it."

Let's hope that this increase in numbers over the past few months will lead to a stronger and more productive year, for people and businesses in all industries. I know we have all been hoping for this for a long time now.

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