Architecture Billings Index Posts Gains in June

Written by Sandy Williams

Architectural firms report that billings for design services increased in June despite higher construction costs for the industry and a shortage of qualified labor. The June Architecture Billings Index, published by the American Institute of Architects, registered 54.2 following a score of 53.0 in May. Billings have been on a generally upward trajectory over the past several months. The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, down from a reading of 62.4 in May, while the new design contracts index decreased from 54.8 to 53.7. Firms reported backlogs averaging 5.9 months.

“So far this year, new activity coming into architecture firms has generally exceeded their ability to complete ongoing projects,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Now, firms seem to be ramping up enough to manage these growing workloads.”

Firms reported strong billings growth in all regions of the country, especially for those specializing in residential construction planning. The Northeast score, at 51.5, grew for the first time in three months.

The regional ABI average increased in the West and Midwest to 54.8 and 51.9, respectively. The average for the South slipped slightly to 54.8 from 56.1 the previous month.

Multi-family residential planning jumped to 57.1 from a score of 51.3 in May. Institutional planning edged up to 52.6 from 51.2, and commercial/industrial planning gained almost a point at 52.1. Design planning for mixed practice construction slipped to 53.8 from 55.8.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the American Institute of Architects, is considered a leading economic indicator of construction activity, and reflects the approximate 9- to 12-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. The monthly ABI index scores are centered on the neutral mark of 50, with scores above 50 indicating growth in billings and scores below 50 indicating a decline.

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 its interactive features, you can do so by clicking here. If you need assistance logging into or navigating the website, please contact our office at 800-432-3475 or

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