Demand for design services in February grew slightly since January, according to a new report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for February was 51.3, up from a score of 51.0 in January. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. Firms reported both project inquiries and design contracts remained positive in February, but while project inquiries increased to 62.5 from 61.9 in January, design contracts decreased to 55.2 from 56.1.
“Despite the continued healthy demand for design services, activity is plateauing as firms face a myriad of external challenges, from staffing to supply chain disruptions to high inflation and rising interest rates,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. “While the rebound from the pandemic has positively impacted firms in most regions, the prolonged lack of demand for design services in the Northeast is of growing concern.”
Key ABI highlights for February include:
- Regional averages: South (58.6); Midwest (53.2); West (47.9); Northeast (44.3)
- Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (55.4); mixed practice (53.8); multi-family residential (52.6); institutional (47.2)
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.