Starting the year on a strong note, architecture firm billings growth strengthened in January to a level not seen in the previous 12 months according to a new report released from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for January was 55.3 compared to 51.0* in December. Indicators of work in the pipeline, including inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts, also strengthened in January.

“The government shutdown affected architecture firms but doesn’t appear to have created a slowdown in the profession,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “While AIA did hear from a few firms that were experiencing significant cash flow issues due to the shutdown, the data suggests that the majority of firms had no long-term impact.”

Key ABI highlights for January include:

Regional averages: South (54.7), Midwest (54.4), Northeast (52.4), West (51.5)

Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (53.8), institutional (52.9), commercial/industrial (52.6), multi-family residential (52.6)

Project inquiries index: 59.6

Design contracts index: 53.8

*Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.

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