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Architecture Billings Index:  Robust Growth Continues

2021 07 Architecture Billings Robust Growth Continues.jpg

THE MOST RECENT REPORT:  July 21, 2021

Balanced growth results in gains in all regions and in all building sectors.

 

WASHINGTON – July 21, 2021 – Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in June according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June remained at an elevated level of 57.1 in June (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). During June, the new design contracts score also remained positive at 58.9 but was not quite as strong as the 63.2 reading in May. New project inquiries logged another near-record high score at 71.8, compared to 69.2 in May.

“With the current pace of billings growth near the highest levels ever seen in the history of the index, we’re expecting a sharp upturn in nonresidential building activity later this year and into 2022,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, as is often the case when market conditions make a sudden reversal, concerns are growing about architecture firms not being able to find enough workers to meet the higher workloads. Nearly six in 10 firms report that they are having problems filling open architectural staff positions.”

Key ABI highlights for June include:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (62.0); West (59.7); South (57.3); Northeast (53.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (61.0); multi-family residential (57.9); institutional (57.3); mixed practice (56.4)
  • Project inquiries index: 71.8
  • Design contracts index: 58.9

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 - 2019 »

 

 

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Regional Architecture Billings Index

(Three month rolling average)

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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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