Steel Markets

ABI Highest Since January 2007

Written by Sandy Williams

The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index (ABI) posted its highest January score since 2007. Considered a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI registered 54.7 last month, up from 52.8 in December. Scores above 50 indicate growth in billings.

“Healthy conditions continue across all sectors and regions except the Northeast, where firm billings softened for the second consecutive month,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “With strong billings and healthy growth in new projects to start the year, firms remain generally optimistic about business conditions for the next several months.”

AIA’s project inquiries index was 61.1 and the design contracts index was 53.9.

Regionally, the scores were West 56.2, South 55.3, Midwest 54.8 and Northeast 47.3.

The index breakdown by sector was multi-family residential 56.0, commercial/industrial 53.3, institutional 52.5, and mixed practice 50.1.

The ABI reflects the lead time of 9-12 months between architecture billings and construction spending. The survey panel asks participants whether their billings increased, decreased or stayed the same in the month that just ended. The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Below is a graph showing the history of 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

Latest in Steel Markets