Architecture Billings Index Rebounds After Two Down Months

WASHINGTONNov. 20, 2019 – Following a two month decline in demand for design services, architecture billings got a bounce in October, according to a new report released today from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score in October is 52.0, up from the September score of 49.7. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). During October, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores moderated from September but remained positive, posting scores of 57.9 and 52.9 respectively.  

“Although ongoing uncertainty over the direction of economic growth persists, a strong stock market and growing payrolls at U.S. businesses continue to generate more construction projects,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “With most regional and sector billing scores at architecture firms improving from the previous month, we’re seeing a bit of a rebound from disappointing levels of design activity in recent months.”  

Key ABI highlights for October include:

  • Regional averages: South (55.5); West (51.3); Midwest (49.9); Northeast (47.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (55.2); multi-family residential (54.0); institutional (49.9); commercial/industrial (49.3)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.9
  • Design contracts index: 52.9

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

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