Architecture Billings Index Declined to 43.6 in March

New York, NY, April 25, 2024-- Business conditions at architecture firms softened in March, as the AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score declined to 43.6 for the month. 

In February, the score was 49.5.

This marked the 14th consecutive month of declining billings at firms as inflation, supply chain issues, and other economic challenges continue to affect business. While inquiries into new projects have continued to grow during that period, it has been at a slower pace than in 2021 and 2022. More notably, the value of new signed design contracts was flat in March, which has generally been the trend for the last year and a half. This shows that clients are interested in starting new projects but remain hesitant to sign a contract and officially commit to those projects. However, most firms report that they still have strong project backlogs of 6.6 months, on average, so even with the ongoing soft patch, they still have work in the pipeline.

Architecture firm billings also continued to decline at firms in all regions of the country, and at firms of all specializations in March, just like in February. Regionally, business conditions were softest at firms located in the Midwest and South. By specialization, billings declined faster at firms with a commercial/industrial specialization and remained weak at firms with a multifamily residential specialization. However, firms with an institutional specialization reported billings that were essentially flat, marking the third straight month of that trend.

Related Topics:The American Institute of Architects