ABI Falls Back Below 50 in April

Written by Laura Miller

While architecture firms saw a modest decline in billings from March to April, there were more inquiries for future projects, according to the latest data from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The monthly AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) registered a 48.5 reading in April, a decline from 50.4 the month prior.

Excluding the slight growth seen in March, architecture firms have seen declining billings every month since October, as an ABI score below 50 indicates a decrease in billings.

At the same time, the pace of inquiries accelerated slightly in April, with that index reading growing from 53.0 in March to 53.9.

The new design contract index, meanwhile, held steady at 48.9.

“The ongoing weakness in design activity at architecture firms reflects clients’ concerns regarding the economic outlook. High construction costs, extended project schedules, elevated interest rates, and growing difficulty in obtaining financing are all weighing on the construction market,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker in a statement.

05.25.23 AIA ABI 1AAA

Regional averages showed month-on-month declines in the Northeast (from 49.1 to 47.2) and the Midwest (from 51.4 to 51.2), while increasing in the South (from 47.4 to 48.7) and the West (from 47.2 to 49.3).

Note that regional and sector scores shown below are calculated by the AIA as three-month moving averages (3MMA).

05.25.23 AIA ABI 2

An interactive history of the AIA Architecture Billings Index is available on our website.

By Laura Miller,

Laura Miller

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