The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), an economic indicator of construction activity, dropped in April for the second month this year. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from March’s mark of 51.7.

According to AIA, this score reflects a decrease in design services, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month.

“The fundamentals in the design and construction industry remain very healthy,” says AIA chief economist Dr. Kermit Baker. “The fact that both inquires for new projects and new design contracts continued to accelerate at a healthy pace in April points to strong underlying demand for design activity.

“However, April would typically be a month where these projects would be in full swing, but a severe winter in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest has apparently delayed progress on projects.”

The South saw an ABI of 55.8, with the West averaging 52.9. The Midwest recorded a 49.9 ABI, and the Northeast was the lowest at 43.2.

Sector-wise, institutional and mix practice led the way at 51.8 each, while multi-family residential saw a 49.0 ABI and industrial a 48.9.