From the AIA: Architecture Billings Index slows but remains healthy
For the eighteenth consecutive month architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in July, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).
The AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for July was 51.0. While this score is down from June’s score of 53.2, it still indicates stable business conditions for architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month). Also in July, both the new project inquiries and design contracts indexes moderated from June but remained strong with scores of 56.1 and 52.9 respectively.
“Despite architecture services employment recently surpassing pre-pandemic levels, the ABI score this month reflects the slowest growth since January, and marks the fourth straight month with a lower score than the previous month, indicating a slowing trajectory in billings activity,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “With a variety of economic storm clouds continuing to gather, we are likely looking at a period of slower growth going forward.”
• Regional averages: South (53.6); Midwest (52.2); West (51.7); Northeast (48.4)
• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (52.8); commercial/industrial (52.2); mixed practice (52.1); institutional (49.6)
This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 51.0 in July, down from 53.2 in June. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects’ services.
Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family residential, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions.
This index has been positive for 18 consecutive months. This index usually leads CRE investment by 9 to 12 months, so this index suggests a pickup in CRE investment in 2022 and into 2023.