Architecture firms report that billings slowed in September, but new projects are expected in the coming months. The AIA Architecture Billings Index score was 51.1 last month, down from 54.2 in August.
“Similar to the strong conditions we’ve seen nationally, architecture firms located in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country continued to report very strong billings in September,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “However, billings were soft at firms located in the Northeast again, where they have declined or been flat for the entire year so far.”
AIA’s projects inquiry index was 58.8 and the design contracts index 54.1.
The regional averages were: Midwest (59.7), South (54.1), West (53.1), Northeast (46.6)
The sector index breakdown: institutional (55.1), multi-family residential (54.9), mixed practice (53.4), and commercial/industrial (50.8)
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 nine- to 12-month lead time 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. 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.
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