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WASHINGTON, DC-Dashing briefly raised hopes of an uptick in construction activity, the Architecture Billings Index dropped nearly two points in October.  The American Institute of Architects has reported that the October ABI score was 48.7, down from a reading of 50.4 the previous month. The new projects inquiry index was 61.7, down from a nearly three-year high mark of 62.3 in September.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator for construction activity, reflecting an approximate nine to 12 months lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. A score over 50 indicates an increase in billings. The ABI had been flirting with 50 in previous measures, AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, tells

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