Strong demand for design services continued in July 2022, according to a report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). The report states the July Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score was 51.0, which is down from June’s score of 53.2.

Despite the lower mark, July’s score indicates that business conditions remain stable for architecture firms. That’s because any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month. July’s score was the 18th consecutive month that architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services.

AIA chief economist Kermit Baker says the news is not all good, however.

“Despite architecture services employment recently surpassing pre-pandemic levels, the ABI score this month reflects the slowest growth since January and marks the fourth straight month with a lower score than the previous month, indicating a slowing trajectory in billings activity,” says Baker. “With a variety of economic storm clouds continuing to gather, we are likely looking at a period of slower growth going forward.”

Most of the regional averages hovered above 50 — the Northeast was the lone region to score under 50 with a score of 48.4. The South scored 53.6, the Midwest 52.2 and the West 51.7.

The sector index breakdown shows that all but institutional services (49.6) resided above 50. Multi-family residential scored 52.8, commercial/industrial scored 52.2 and mixed practice scored 52.1.

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.