Architecture Billings Index Looks Healthy in July

Written by Sandy Williams

The Architecture Billings Index for July slipped slightly to 54.7 from 55.7 in June but still reflects strong and continuing demand for design services for nonresidential construction. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings for design services. The new projects inquiry index was 63.7 in July, up from 63.4 the previous month.

“On top of what has been a flurry of design activity in recent months, some architects are reporting a break in the logjam created by clients placing projects on hold for indefinite periods, which bodes well for business conditions in the months ahead,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There is some uneasiness in the design community that rapid growth in construction costs could escalate beyond development capital and municipal budgets, which could trigger some contraction in the marketplace down the road.”

The regional averages are all solidly above the neutral 50 point and growing over the past three months: Midwest (58.2), South (55.7), West (53.8) Northeast (53.5)

The sector index breakdown was: institutional (57.3), mixed practice (56.8), commercial / industrial (53.4) multi-family residential (49.8)

• Project inquiries index: 63.7
• Design contracts index: 54.5

The ABI, published monthly by the American Institute of Architects, reflects the nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and nonresidential construction spending. A score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Below is a graph showing the history of the Architecture Billings Index. You will need to view the graph on our website to use it’s interactive features, you can do so by clicking here. If you need assistance with either logging in or navigating the website, please contact our office at 800-432-3475 or

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