The latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) continues to signal a heightened level of demand for design services, with all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 53.7, up from 51.9 in the previous month. This reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index was 62.5, up from a reading of 59.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased somewhat from 56.4 to 54.2.

“The August results continue a string of very positive readings from the design professions, pointing to future healthy growth across the major construction sectors, as well as across the major regions of the country,” says AIA chief economist Dr. Kermit Baker. “Given the focus and discussions around the infrastructure needs of the nation, we expect strong growth in design activity for the coming months and years.”

Key August ABI highlights

Regional averages: South (55.7), Northeast (54.3), Midwest (52.5), West (51.3).

Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (57.6), multifamily residential (53.8), mixed practice (52.5), institutional (50.1).