ABI Ends 2015 on a Positive Note

Written by Sandy Williams

The American Institute of Architects called 2015 a healthy year for construction. In eight of the twelve months last year the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posted scores above the 50, indicating an increase in design services.

The December ABI was 50.9, up from 49.3 in November. The new projects inquiry index gained 1.6 points to register at 60.2.

“As has been the case for the past several years, there continues to be a mix of business conditions that architecture firms are experiencing,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Overall, however, ABI scores for 2015 averaged just below the strong showing in 2014, which points to another healthy year for construction this year.”

Key December ABI highlights

Regional averages: West (53.7), South (53.3), Northeast (46.7), Midwest (46.1),

Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (52.9), institutional (52.2), commercial/industrial (47.3), mixed practice (46.5)

Project inquiries index: 60.2

Design contracts index: 51.0

The Architecture Billings Index is considered a leading economic indicator of construction activity, and reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. 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 American Institute of Architects ABI Index and Project 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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