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.
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ABI April 2022: Architecture firm billings continue to expand at a steady pace
Architecture firm billings continued to experience strong growth in April.
ABI March 2022: Business conditions at architecture firms strengthen further
Architecture firm billings showed strong growth in March, following more modest increases over the previous three months.
ABI February 2022: Architecture firm billings continue to increase at a moderate pace
Architecture firm billings continued to grow at a moderate pace in February, with an Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 51.3
ABI January 2022: Entering 2022, architecture firms continue to see steady growth
Ongoing staffing concerns expected to produce another year of above average compensation increases
ABI December 2021: Business conditions at architecture firms end the year on a strong note
December 2021's ABI score showed business conditions at architecture firms ended the year on a strong note
ABI November 2021: Most architecture firms still reporting billings growth, but pace of growth continues to soften
Issues related to firm and project management, staffing top list of biggest business-related concerns for architecture firms in 2022