Architecture Billings Rose One Point to 52 in December

Washington, DC, January 19, 2021-December’s Architectural Billings Index (ABI) score of 52.0 was an increase from 51.0 in November (any score over 50 indicates billings growth), according to the American Institute of Architects. 

Despite a variety of concerns related to the omicron variant, labor shortages, and rising prices as well as limited availability of construction materials, firms continued to report a robust supply of work in the pipeline. Inquiries into new work and the value of new design contracts both remained strong, and backlogs, at an average of 6.5 months, remained near their highest levels since the AIA began tracking this metric in 2010.

“Since demand for design projects has been healthy over the last year, recruiting architectural staff to keep up with project workloads has been a growing concern for firms,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Architecture is one of the few industries where payrolls have already surpassed their pre-pandemic high, so meeting future staffing needs is a challenge that most firms will need to confront.

Regional averages were as follows: South (56.4); Midwest (51.0); West (47.5); Northeast (45.3)/

The sector index breakdown was mixed practice (60.6); multi-family residential (49.2); commercial/industrial (49.2); and institutional (47.6).

The project inquiries index was 66.8, and the design contracts index was 55.8.

Related Topics:The American Institute of Architects