Architecture Billings Index Expanded to 54.3 in March

Washington, DC, April 20, 2017—The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score was 54.3, up from a score of 50.7 in the previous month. This score reflects a sizable increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).

The new projects inquiry index was 59.8, down from a reading of 61.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index dipped from 54.7 to 52.3.

“The first quarter started out on uneasy footing, but fortunately ended on an upswing entering the traditionally busy spring season,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “All sectors showed growth except for the commercial/industrial market, which, for the first time in over a year displayed a decrease in design services.”

The regional averages were as follows: Midwest, 54.6; South, 52.6; Northeast, 52.4; and West, 50.2.

The sector index breakdown was multi-family residential, 54.6; mixed practice. 53.7; institutional, 52.9; and commercial, and the design contracts index was 52.3.