The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) began 2016 with a modest decline.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 49.6, down slightly from December’s mark of 51.3. This score reflects a decrease in design services, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index was 55.3, down from a reading of 60.5 the previous month.
“The fundamentals are mostly sound in the nonresidential design and construction market,” says AIA chief economist Dr. Kermit Baker. “January was a rocky month throughout the economy, with falling oil prices, international economic concerns, and with steep declines in stock market valuations in the U.S. and elsewhere. Some of the fallout of this uncertainty may have affected progress on design projects.”
Regionally, the West led the way with an ABI reading of 50.8, followed by the Northeast (50.4), South (50.3) and Midwest (48.9). Sector index breakdown was as follows: multi-family residential (51.9), commercial/industrial (50.5), institutional (49.9) and mixed practice (49.0).