Architecture Billings Index (ABI)

The Architecture Billings Index is an economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately 9–12 months. Investment groups like Wells Fargo, media outlets, firms of all sizes, and business leaders rely on this leading monthly economic indicator to assess business conditions and predict and track the market.

The index is derived from AIA’s Work-on-the-Boards survey, which has gathered data on shifts in billings from architectural firm leaders for over 20 years. This data is a trusted tool used by the design and construction industry and other firms to predict and track movements in the market

Examples of the ABI in use:

  • Firm strategic planning: ADD Inc., a multidisciplinary design firm with 200 employees, uses the ABI to help prepare for market fluctuations and ramp-up hiring.
  • Determining business cycle shifts: Johnson Controls, which provides buildings services, looks to ABI for an early picture of construction trends to use in resource planning and stockholder guidance—and to identify expansion opportunities.
  • Timing in a changing economy: One of the largest privately held family-owned real estate development and construction firms, Gilbane Inc., finds the ABI vital to help manage budgets, prepare for market movements, manage RFPs and seek leads.

Need more examples of how to use the ABI?

Use our whitepapers to help you maximize its value.

2014 White Paper, “Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index"

2005 White Paper, “Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending”

Are you an architecture firm owner or principal?

Participate in our monthly survey to compare your firm to others, track the economy and local business conditions, and use data to target business opportunities.

Join  the Work-on-the-Boards panel >

ABI release dates:

Check out the ABI when it’s released for a first look. Visit us on December 19, January 23, February 20, March 20, April 17, May 22, June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18, October 23, November 20, and December 18 to stay up on the latest.

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