The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dipped slightly into negative territory in January, after a very strong showing in December. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 49.5, down from a score of 55.6 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.0, up from a reading of 57.6 the previous month.
“This small decrease in activity, taking into consideration strong readings in project inquiries and new design contracts, isn’t exactly a cause for concern,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “The fundamentals of a sound nonresidential design and construction market persist.”
* Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.
The AIA reports these key ABI highlights for the month of January:
- Regional averages: South (54.2), Northeast (53.0), Midwest (52.4), West (48.8)
- Sector index breakdown: institutional (54.6), commercial / industrial (53.4), mixed practice (48.1), multi-family residential (48.1)
- Project inquiries index: 60.0
- Design contracts index: 52.1