AIA officials say architecture firm billings remained soft in all regions and sectors in May, most notably in the Midwest. 

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score declined to 42.4 in May, as more firms reported a decrease in billings compared to April. The ABI score is a leading economic indicator of construction activity, providing an approximately nine-to-12-month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The score is derived from a monthly survey of architecture firms that measures the change in the number of services provided to clients.

AIA officials say architecture firm billings remained soft in all regions and sectors in May. Billings declined at firms in all regions for the fourth consecutive month. The regional May averages were:

  • Northeast (47.7)
  • Midwest (41.7)
  • South (46.0)
  • West (46.3)

“The decline in the May ABI score continues a year and a half of weakness in design billings at U.S. architecture firms,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “However, firms only reported modest declines over the first half of this period. Over the past nine months, volatility has increased, and scores have softened more significantly, with the May score the weakest reported since the end of the pandemic recession.”

The commercial/industrial sector scored 48.2, institutional scored 43.2, mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half their billings in any other category) scored 42.8, and multi-family residential scored 47.3. The project inquiries index was 52.1, while the design contracts index was 45.6.

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