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Demand For Design Activity Shows Continued Strength

Washington, DC – The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) recorded its sixth consecutive positive month, according to a new report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). The ABI score for July was 54.6, down slightly from June’s score of 57.1.

While slightly lower, the strength of July's score indicates very strong business conditions overall (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month). Scoring for new project inquiries also declined in July but remained near its all-time high at 65.0. The score for new design contracts was essentially unchanged from June to July with a score of 58.0.

“In prior business cycles, architecture firms generally saw their project work soften quickly and then recover slowly,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “So the strength of this recovery is unprecedented. Firm leaders who have leaned into this economic upturn by reinvesting in their firms by hiring staff and upgrading their technology, will likely have a better year than those that anticipated a slower recovery.”

Key ABI highlights for July include:

• Regional averages: Midwest (58.3); West (56.0); South (54.6); Northeast (54.1)
• Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (58.4); institutional (55.4); multi-family residential (54.7); mixed practice (54.4)

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

To learn more about recent economic developments impacting design and construction, visit AIA’s website.

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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