Following consistently increasing demand for design services for over two years, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dipped into negative territory in March, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).
The ABI score for March was 47.8, down from 50.3 in February. Indicators of work in the pipeline, including inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts remained positive.
“Though billings haven’t contracted in a while, it is important to note that it does follow on the heels of a particularly tough late winter period for much of the country,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Many indicators of future work at firms still remain positive, although the pace of growth of design contracts has slowed in recent months.“
Key ABI highlights for March include:
-Regional averages: South (54.2), Midwest (48.7), West (47.2), Northeast (43.5)
-Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (53.1), commercial/industrial (47.0), institutional (48.9), multi-family residential (47.7)
-Project inquiries index: 59.8
-Design contracts index: 50.8
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.
AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.