The Architectural Billings Index slipped to 45.1 in July, according to the American Institute of Architects. The indicator's 1.2-point drop from June was the sharpest decline since February 2010, which means that recovery remains difficult for the construction sector. "Late last year and in the first couple of months of this year, there was a sense that we were slowly pulling out of the downturn, but now the concern is that we haven't yet reached the bottom of the cycle," said Kermit Baker, AIA chief economist.

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