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Architecture Billings Index Slips In August

AIA_Billings_Index_logoWashington, DC – On the heels of six out of seven months of increasing levels of demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell just below the positive mark in August. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 49.7, down from the mark of 51.5 in July. 

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine-to-twelve-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The August score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), though the new projects inquiry index was 61.8, up sharply from a reading of 57.5 the previous month.

“This is only the second month this year where demand for architectural services has declined and it is only by a fraction of a point,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “Given the solid numbers for new design contracts and project inquiries, it doesn’t appear that this is the beginning of a broader downturn in the design and construction industry.”

Key August ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: South (55.2), Midwest (52.8), West (49.0), Northeast (44.9)

• Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (51.8), multi-family residential (50.9), commercial / industrial (50.8), institutional     (50.7)

• Project inquiries index: 61.8

• Design contracts index: 52.7

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About The American Institute Of Architects

For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. For more information, visit www.aia.org.

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