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Design Billings Stabilize but Remain Healthy

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THE MOST RECENT REPORT:  JULY 2022

Western and Midwestern U.S. design firms see increases

 

WASHINGTON – July 20, 2022 – Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in June, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The ABI score for June was 53.2. While this score is down slightly from May’s score of 53.5, it still indicates moderately strong business conditions overall (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month). Also in June, both the new project inquiries and design contracts indexes moderated from May but continued to show growth, posting scores of 58.2 and 52.2 respectively.

“Ongoing project activity at architecture firms as well as new work coming online remains strong, pushing project backlogs up to seven months on average nationally,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “In spite of heavy workloads, employment at architecture firms has stabilized, suggesting that adding new employees is becoming even more challenging as the building construction sector continues to recover.”

Key ABI highlights for June include:

  • Regional averages: West (57.8); Midwest (54.8); South (51.5); Northeast (48.7)

  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (53.5); mixed practice (52.8); multi-family residential (52.6); commercial/industrial (52.5)

 

Interpreting the ABI:

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a leading economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately 9–12 months. The index is derived from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Work-on-the-Boards survey, which has gathered data on shifts in billings from architectural firm leaders for over 20 years.

The survey panel asks participating architectural firms whether billings increased, decreased or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

  • An index score of 50 indicates no change in firm billings versus the previous month.
  • A score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings versus the previous month.
  • A score below 50 indicates an decrease in firm billings versus the previous month.
  • NOTE: Index numbers cited for the last three reported months are preliminary.
  • The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

 

Source:  The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

National Architecture Billings Index

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

RELATED: Historical ABI Data 2008 - 2020 »

 

 

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Regional Architecture Billings Index

(Three month rolling average)

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Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Sector-Specific Architecture Billings Index

Three-month rolling average

Commercial/Industrial
Buildings related to commerce and industry. Office space, banks, retail, factories, etc.

Institutional
Schools, civic/government buildings, museums, hospitals, etc.

Multifamily Residential
Town homes, apartment complexes, condominiums, etc.

Mixed Practice
Buildings that include both residential and commercial/industrial spaces.

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

 

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