Architecture Billings Downward Trajectory Moderates

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is a leading economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately 9–12 months. The index is derived from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Work-on-the-Boards survey, which has gathered data on shifts in billings from architectural firm leaders for over 20 years.

AIA ABI Architecture Billings Index historical data

 
The Most Recent Numbers - Reported June 24, 2020

Demand for design services in May saw few signs of rebounding following a record drop in billings the month prior, according to a report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for May was 32.0 compared to 29.5 in April, but still represents a significant decrease in services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any number below 50 indicates a decrease in billings). In May, the decline in new project inquiries and design contract scores moderated from April, posting scores of 38.0 and 33.1 respectively.  

“A large portion of the design and construction industry remains mired in  steep cutbacks as many businesses and organizations are still trying to figure out what actions make sense in this uncertain economic environment,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “There are growing signs of activity beginning to pick up in some areas, but others are seeing a pause as pandemic concerns continue to grow.”

Key ABI figures for May include:

  • Regional averages: West (36.0); South (30.6); Midwest (29.7); Northeast (25.1)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (35.7); multi-family residential (34.8); mixed practice (28.5); commercial/industrial (24.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 38.0
  • Design contracts index: 33.1

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Interpreting the ABI:

The survey panel asks participating architectural firms whether billings increased, decreased or stayed the same in the month that just ended. According to the proportion of respondents choosing each option, a score is generated, which represents an index value for each month.

  • An index score of 50 indicates no change in firm billings versus the previous month.
  • A score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings versus the previous month.
  • A score below 50 indicates an decrease in firm billings versus the previous month.
  • NOTE: Index numbers cited for the last three reported months are preliminary.
  • The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

 

National Architecture Billings Index

NATIONAL | amCharts

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

RELATED: Historical ABI Data 2008 - 2019 »

 

Don’t miss the next big ABI update…

Click here to subscribe to the inside.lighting InfoLetter
Just 3-4 emails per month and it’s easy to unsubscribe

Regional Architecture Billings Index

(Three month rolling average)

ABI REGION 2019 | amCharts

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Sector-Specific Architecture Billings Index

Three-month rolling average

Commercial/Industrial
Buildings related to commerce and industry. Office space, banks, retail, factories, etc.

Institutional
Schools, civic/government buildings, museums, hospitals, etc.

Multifamily Residential
Town homes, apartment complexes, condominiums, etc.

Mixed Practice
Buildings that include both residential and commercial/industrial spaces.

ABI by Sector | amCharts

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

 

Don’t miss the next big ABI update…

Click here to subscribe to the inside.lighting InfoLetter
Just 3-4 emails per month and it’s easy to unsubscribe

Market Intel
OTHER NEWS