February Architecture Billings Index Positive for First Time in a Year

Washington, DC, March 25, 2021-The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for February was 53.3 compared to 44.9 in January, its first positive mark since February 2020. 

February also marked the first time the design contract score rose back into positive territory since the pandemic began with a score of 51.6 compared to 48.8 in January. The new project inquiries score for February reached a 22-month high water mark with a score of 61.2 compared to 56.8 in January.  

“Hopefully, this is the start of a more sustained recovery. It is possible that scores will continue to bounce above and below 50 for the next few months, as recoveries often move in fits and starts,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Beyond the encouraging billing data, architecture employment added 700 new positions in January and has now regained 45 percent of the jobs that were lost since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Regional averages were as follows: South (52.4); West (49.5); Midwest (49.3); Northeast (46.9).

The sector index breakdown was mixed practice (52.5); commercial/industrial (50.5); multi-family residential (48.3); institutional (47.8).

The project inquiries index was 61.2, and the design contracts index was 51.6.

Related Topics:The American Institute of Architects