Architecture Billings Index Shows No Significant Improvement in Business Conditions

There has been a recent moderation in the downturn in design services billings, but the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reveals that an economic recovery has stalled. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI rating was 42.9, nearly identical to the 42.8 mark in April. This score still indicates an overall decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 55.2, the third straight month with a score in the mid-50s.

“The design and construction marketplace is extremely competitive right now,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Prospective clients are casting a wider net causing numerous firms to bid for the same project, which is why the high level of inquiries is not necessarily translating into additional billings for project work at many firms.”

May ABI highlights:
Regional averages: Northeast (48.3), Midwest (41.5), South (41.3), West (39.4)
Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (44.5), commercial/industrial (43.1), institutional (38.0)


  1. We find that the quality as well as the quantity is down in the hi-tech middle market which represents 80% of the future markets. T2PDM commercial renovations and additions in the 250K to 3M cost range…corporate, healthcare and academic campuses.

  2. Hi, would you mind letting me know where can I donwload the complete series of the Arquitectural Billing Index?

    I have been browsing the AIA website but I am not a member so it seams I cannot get their statistics.

    Best Regards

  3. Thanks for the breakdown of information. Sometimes it’s hard to know which statistics to watch. Too many people rely on the conjectures of uninformed commentaries. Thanks for sharing.

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