AIA Architecture Billings Index Slid to 29.5 in April

Washington, DC, May 20, 2020-Demand for design services in April saw its steepest decline on record, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 29.5 for April reflects a decrease in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any number below 50 indicates a decrease in billings). During April, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores also declined significantly, posting scores of 28.4 and 27.6 respectively.  

“With the dramatic deceleration that we have seen in the economy since mid-March, it’s not surprising that businesses and households are waiting for signs of stability before proceeding with new facilities,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Once business activity resumes, demand for design services should pick up fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the precipitous drop in demand for design services will have lasting consequences for some firms.”

Regional averages were as follows: West, 38.1; Midwest, 31.2; South, 31.1; and Northeast, 23.0.

Sector index breakdown was institutional, 36.1; multi-family residential, 30.3; mixed practice, 29.0; and commercial/industrial, 27.8.

The project inquiries index was 28.4, and the design contracts index was 27.6.