Starting the year on a strong note, architecture firm billings strengthened slightly in January, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 52.2 for January compared to 52.1* in December reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). Indicators of work in the pipeline, including new project inquiries and new design contracts remained positive, posting scores of 57.9 and 56.0 respectively.
“Despite the continued presence of volatility in the economy, design activity has begun to accelerate in recent months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Even with the ongoing challenges facing the nonresidential construction sector, this upturn points to at least modest growth over the coming year.”
Key ABI highlights for January include:
- Regional averages: South (56.7); West (52.1); Midwest (51.3); Northeast (45.3)
- Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (51.6); commercial/industrial (51.5); multi-family residential (51.2); institutional (51.1)
- Project inquiries index: 57.9
- Design contracts index: 56.0
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
*Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.