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Demand for Design Services Continues to Increase

2021 10 ABI Architecture Billings Index AIA September 2021.jpg

THE MOST RECENT REPORT:  October 20, 2021

 

WASHINGTON – Oct. 20, 2021 – Architecture firms continue to report increasing demand for design services in September, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for September was 56.6, which is up from August’s score of 55.6. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month. During September, scoring for both the new project inquiries and design contracts moderated slightly, but remained in positive territory, posting scores of 61.8 and 54.7 respectively.  

“The ABI scores over the last eight months continue to be among the highest ever seen in the immediate post-recession periods that have been captured throughout the index’s history,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, it’s unlikely that revenue increases at architecture firms can sustain this pace. Given that growth in both new design contracts and project inquiries have moderated in recent months, we expect to see a similar path for the ABI.”

Key ABI highlights for September include:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (57.7); South (57.0); West (56.0); Northeast (51.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (58.8); commercial/industrial (58.1); multi-family residential (56.1); institutional (53.5)

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

Visit AIA’s website for more ABI information.

 

Interpreting the ABI:

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.

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.

 

Source:  The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

National Architecture Billings Index

NATIONAL | amCharts

Source: The American Institute of Architects (AIA)

RELATED: Historical ABI Data 2008 - 2020 »

 

 

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Regional Architecture Billings Index

(Three month rolling average)

map-of-usa-Final-480px.png

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)

 

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