Architectural Billings Score Rose to 49.5 in February

Washington, DC, March 20, 2024-Architecture firm billings continued to decline in February, with an AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 49.5 for the month. In January, the score was 45.4. However, February’s score marks the most modest easing in billings since July 2023 and suggests that the recent slowdown may be receding.

“There are indicators this month that business conditions at firms may finally begin to pick up in the coming months. Inquiries into new projects grew at their fastest pace since November, and the value of newly signed design contracts increased at their fastest pace since last summer,” said Kermit Baker, PhD, AIA chief economist." Given the moderation of inflation for construction costs and prospects for lower interest rates in the coming months, there are positive signs for future growth.”

The Midwest as a region is still reporting billings growth, despite business conditions remaining weak across the country in February. Firms located in the Midwest reported growth for the last three months, and for four of the last five months.

The ABI score is a leading economic indicator of construction activity, providing an approximately nine-to-twelve-month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The score is derived from a monthly survey of architecture firms that measures the change in the number of services provided to clients.

Regional averages were as follows Northeast (44.0); Midwest (50.8); South (47.7); West (47.2).

The sector index breakdown was commercial/industrial (46.1); institutional (50.7); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (47.1); multifamily residential (44.9).

The project inquiries index was 56.0, and the design contracts index was 51.1.

Related Topics:The American Institute of Architects