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.
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).
ABI October 2022: Architecture firm billings take a sharp downward turn
Billings at architecture firms softened considerably in October with an ABI score of 47.7, as firms reported the first decline in billings since January 2021.
ABI September 2022: Despite slowing billings growth, firm backlogs remain robust
Architecture firm billings grew at a modest pace in September.