The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rebounded in February, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

In January, the ABI dipped into the negative for the first time in five months, but demand for design services increased in February, Last month’s ABI score was 50.3, up slightly from January’s mark of 49.6.

This score reflects a minor increase in design services, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index was 59.5, up from a reading of 55.3 the previous month.

The ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

“March and April are traditionally the busiest months for architecture firms, so we should get a clearer reading of underlying momentum over the next couple of months,” says AIA chief economist Dr. Kermit Baker. “Hopefully the relatively mild weather conditions recently in most parts of the country will help design and construction activity move ahead at a somewhat faster pace.”

Regional ABI averages were as follows: South (51.1), West (49.9), Northeast (49.5) and Midwest (49.3).

Sectors, meanwhile, broke down in this order: multifamily residential (53.0), commercial/industrial (52.3), institutional (48.1) and mixed practice (47.7)