Architecture firm billings continued to decline at firms in all regions of the country, with firms in the Midwest and South reporting the sharpest declines.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported that architecture firm billings continued to decline in April, even as firms reported a slight uptick from March. According to AIA, April’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose to 48.3 from March’s score of 43.6. Any score below 50 marks a decline in billings from the previous month.

The commercial/industrial sector increased to 47.4, while the institutional sector fell to 46.1, and the mixed multi-family residential sector jumped to 45.6.

“These findings indicate that while clients are still cautious, there are also positive signs with increasing inquiries into new projects,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “Continued high interest rates make it difficult for some projects to move forward, but there is ongoing interest in pursuing these projects once conditions improve. In the meantime, design activity is expected to remain sluggish.”

Architecture firm billings continued to decline at firms in all regions of the country, with firms in the Midwest and South reporting the sharpest declines. The regional averages are as follows:

  • Northeast (45.9);
  • Midwest (44.2);
  • South (44.7); and
  • West (47.8).

Business conditions also remain soft at firms of all specializations, with the weakest conditions continuing at firms focused on multi-family residential. The project inquiries index stood at 54.8, while the design contracts index stood at 49.2.

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