The monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 54.3 in March, up 3.6 points from February’s 50.7, the AIA announced today.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S., and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, and regionally, as well as by project type. A score above 50 represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50, as seen in January, represents a contraction.