The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) declined in August, following fairly healthy business conditions so far this year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 49.1, down from a mark of 54.7 in July. The new projects inquiry index was 61.8, down from a reading of 63.7 the previous month.
“Over the past several years, a period of sustained growth in billings has been followed by a temporary step backwards,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fact that project inquiries and new design contracts continue to grow at a healthy pace suggests that this should not be a cause for concern throughout the design and construction industry.”
A breakdown of regional highlights, after the break.
- Midwest (56.1)
- South (53.8)
- Northeast (46.8)
- West (50.2)
Sector Index Breakdown:
- Multi-family residential (49.5)
- Mixed Practice (52.8)
- Commercial/Industrial (49.7)
- Institutional (53.7)
Key August ABI Highlights:
- Project inquiries index (61.8)
- Design contracts index (55.3)
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. Regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the index and inquiries are monthly numbers. Any score above 50 reflects an increase in design services.