Architecture Billings Index Sees Stable Business Conditions

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Kermit Baker

WASHINGTON – The American Institute of Architects (AIA)/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) results for July signals mostly stable business conditions. The ABI score was 50.0, indicating that billings at architecture firms remained flat for the month.

“This is the third straight month that billings at architecture firms have stabilized,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD. “New project work has been even stronger over this period. This suggests that design work may finally begin to increase over the coming months, although somewhat modestly.”

Firms with a commercial/industrial specialization reported their strongest billings growth in more than a year, while firms with a multifamily residential specialization continued to report declining billings.  While this marks the ninth consecutive month of growth for firms located in the Midwest region, firms in other regions reported modest declines in billings.

The ABI is a leading economic indicator derived from a monthly survey of AIA member-owned firms which measures demand for design services throughout U.S., providing insight into future construction activity across various sectors including commercial/industrial/institutional buildings and multifamily residential projects.

Key ABI highlights for July include:

·       Regional averages: Midwest (51.6); West (49.6); Northeast (49.3); South (48.9)

·       Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (52.7); institutional (51.2); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (46.3); multifamily residential (45.4)

·       Project inquiries index: 54.5

·       Design contracts index: 50.0

The regional and sector categories are calculated as three-month moving averages and may not always average out to the national score.

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