Architecture Billings Index Sees Slight Contraction

After six months of steadily increasing demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) paused in November, according to the latest report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The AIA reported the November ABI score was 49.8, down from a mark of 51.6 in October. This score reflects a slight decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 57.8, down from the reading of 61.5 the previous month.

“Architecture firms continue to report widely varying views of business conditions across the country. This slight dip is likely just a minor, and hopefully temporary, lull in the progress of current design projects,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “But there is a continued uneasiness in the marketplace as businesses attempt to determine the future direction of demand for commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings.”

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