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WASHINGTON, DC-Watching the Architecture Billings Index sway back and forth this year has given the commercial real estate industry a case of collective vertigo. Its latest permutation? It is swinging into positive terrain. Again. Last week the ABI climbed nearly three points, reaching 50.2. It is an important leading economic indicator for the industry because it reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. A positive score, even a barely positive one, reflects an increase in demand for design services. The new projects inquiry index was 57.2, up from mark of 56.3 the previous month.

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