ABI Continues Slide in February

US architecture firms reported a slip in demand for services for the fifth consecutive month in February, according to the latest report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  

The monthly AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score stood at 48.0 in February, down from January’s 49.3.

The ABI is an advanced economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity with a lead time of 9-12 months. A score above 50 indicates an increase in activity, while a score below 50 indicates a decrease.

“While overall billings have declined every month since October 2022, the pace of the decline remains relatively modest, and has not accelerated dramatically,” AIA said in a statement. “This could potentially indicate a shorter slowdown at firms, rather than a more dramatic downturn and full-blown recession.”

February saw the value of new signed design contracts continue to grow, AIA said, with new design contracts, though still above 50, moving to 51.3 vs. 53.4 a month earlier.

Key ABI highlights for February include:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (48.8); South (47.3); Northeast (48.4); West (50.4)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (46.9); residential (46.2); commercial/industrial (45.8)

Regional and sector scores are calculated as three-month moving averages (3MMA). Below are three charts showing the history of the AIA Architecture Billings Index, Regional Business Conditions, and Sectors.

AIA Feb23 Fig1

AIA Feb23 Fig2.2

An interactive history of the AIA Architecture Billings Index is available on our website. Please contact us at if you need assistance logging into or navigating the website. 

By Ethan Bernard,

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