The AIA just reported September’s Architecture Billings Index measuring 46.9, a sharp drop since August’s 51.4. Such a low index reflects a decrease in demand for design services, and the new projects inquiry index was 54.3, down from a reading of 56.9 the previous month. “It appears that the positive conditions seen last month were more of an aberration,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The economy is weak enough at present that design activity is bouncing around more than usual; one strong month can be followed by a weak one. The economy needs to be stronger to generate sustained growth in design activity.” Regional averages place the Midwest first with as score of 51.0, with the Northeast following at 50.8, South at 47.3 and West at 46.7. As we’ve been seeing, the commercial/industrial sector is leading with 52.4.