AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI)
The AIA/Deltek 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”
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ABI April 2023: Business conditions soften again at architecture firms
Business conditions softened at architecture firms in April, as the AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score fell back below 50.
ABI March 2023: Business conditions improve slightly
Business conditions at architecture firms saw a slight improvement in March, following declining billings during the last five months.
ABI February 2023: Business conditions remain soft at architecture firms
Architecture firm billings remained soft for the fifth consecutive month in February.
ABI January 2023: Architecture firm billings decline at slower pace
While architecture firm billings declined for the fourth consecutive month in January, the pace of the decline continued to slow.
ABI December 2022: Architecture firm billings end the year on a soft note
Architecture firms reported ongoing softness in business conditions to close out 2022, as firm billings declined for the third consecutive month in December
ABI November 2022: Architecture firm billings decline further
After architecture firms experienced their first decline in billings in nearly two years in October, business conditions softened further in November, as the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score fell to 46.6 (any score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings).