AIA Architecture Billings Index Eased to 48.1 in August

Washington, DC, September 20, 2023-The AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) eased modestly in August with a score of 48.1, down from 50.0 in July, marking the eleventh consecutive month of essentially flat billings at architecture firms. Any score below 50.0 indicates decreasing business conditions. This follows a period of robust growth in 2021 and 2022. While inquiries into new projects remained relatively strong in August, the value of newly signed design contracts declined for the first time since April, indicating that fewer clients signed contracts for new projects than in the prior three months.

“Business conditions at architecture firms continue to be sluggish,” said Kermit Baker, PhD, AIA chief economist. “New project work coming into architecture firms as well ongoing project activity remain stalled in a relatively narrow range and exhibit very little month-to-month variation. Through this pause has taken pressure off tight staffing conditions across the profession, there is considerable uncertainty over the direction of future activity.”

Business conditions also remained soft at firms with a multifamily residential specialization and declined modestly at firms with an institutional specialization. However, firms with a commercial/industrial specialization reported billings growth for the third month in a row in August.

Regional averages were as follows: Northeast (50.6); South (49.9); Midwest (48.1); West (45.8).

The sector index breakdown was commercial/industrial (51.5); institutional (49.4); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (46.9); multifamily residential (44.1).

The project inquiries index score was 54.8, and the design contracts index was 47.9.

Related Topics:The American Institute of Architects