February Architecture Billings Index Rises to 53.4

Washington, DC, March 19, 2020-The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 53.4 for February reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). 

January’s score was 52.2. 

During February, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores moderated slightly but remained in positive territory, posting scores of 56.5 and 52.0 respectively.  

“Business conditions at architecture firms have been surprisingly positive so far this year. However, firms were just beginning to feel the impact of the dramatic slowdown caused by COVID-19 as this survey was being conducted in early March.” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The rapid pull-back in activity throughout the economy will obviously be felt in the design and construction sector, and architecture firms will be one of the first to see how these events play out.”

Regional averages were as follows: South, 58.0; Midwest, 53.6; West, 49.8; and Northeast, 49.4.

The Sector index breakdown was multi-family residential, 53.5; institutional, 52.8; mixed practice, 52.7; and commercial/industrial, 52.4.

The project inquiries index was 56.5, and the design contracts index was 52.0.