For the fifth straight month, architecture firms recorded increasing demand for design services, according to the June Architecture Billings Index (ABI).

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the June ABI score was 54.2, up from 53.0 in the previous month. This reflects an increase in design services, as any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index was 58.6, down from a reading of 62.4 the previous month, while the new design contracts index decreased from 54.8 to 53.7.

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.

“So far this year, new activity coming into architecture firms has generally exceeded their ability to complete ongoing projects,” says AIA chief economist Dr. Kermit Baker. “Now, firms seem to be ramping up enough to manage these growing workloads.”

Regional ABI averages were: South (54.8), West (53.1), Midwest (51.9), Northeast (51.5).

The sector index breakdown was: multifamily residential (57.1), mixed practice (53.8), institutional (52.6), commercial/industrial (52.1).