ABI Drops Slightly in October

Written by Sandy Williams

Demand for architecture design services has been increasing for most of 2015 in nearly all construction project types, according to the American Institute of Architects. AIA’s Architecture Billings Index dropped slightly in October to a score of 53.1 from 53.7 in September. A score above 50 indicates an increase in billings and design services. The new projects inquiry index registered 58.5, down from 61.0 the previous month.

“Allowing for the possibility of occasional and minor backsliding, we expect healthy business conditions for the design and construction industry to persist moving into next year,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “One area of note is that the multi-family project sector has come around the last two months after trending down for the better part of the year.”

The ABI, a diffusion index 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.

Key October ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: South (56.2), West (54.4), Midwest (52.6), Northeast (49.2)

• Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (55.1), mixed practice (54.9), multi-family residential (52.5), institutional (51.4)

• Project inquiries index: 58.5

• Design contracts index: 51.7

Below is a graph showing the history of the AIA Architecture Billings Index and Inquiries 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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