Architect Confidence Reflected in Higher ABI Score

Written by Sandy Williams

The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose to 55.0 in December from a reading of 51.7 in November, reflecting an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms. The new projects inquiry index was 61.1, up from a reading of 60.2 the previous month, while the new design contracts index rose slightly from 52.8 to 53.2.

“Not only are design billings overall seeing their strongest growth of the year, the strength is reflected in all major regions and construction sectors,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “The construction industry continues to show surprising momentum heading into 2018.”

Key November ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: West (54.8), Northeast (52.8), South (52.8), Midwest (50.4)

• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.9), mixed practice (53.6), commercial/industrial (53.3), institutional (52.4)

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index: The Architecture Billings Index, produced by the American Institute of Architects, is considered a leading economic indicator of construction activity, and reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-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 Architecture Billings Index and Inquiries Index. To use the interactive features, view the graph on our website 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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