The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple through the profession. According to the AIA's latest data, demand for design services in April 2020 saw its steepest decline on record.
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) scored 29.5 for April, reflecting a decrease in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms. (Any number below 50 indicates a decrease in billings.) New project inquiries and design contracts also dropped significantly, scoring 28.4 and 27.6, respectively. This continues the trend seen last month, when billings fell from 53.4 for February to 33.3 for March.
“With the dramatic deceleration that we have seen in the economy since mid-March, it’s not surprising that businesses and households are waiting for signs of stability before proceeding with new facilities,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a statement. “Once business activity resumes, demand for design services should pick up fairly quickly. Unfortunately, the precipitous drop in demand for design services will have lasting consequences for some firms.”
Explore ABI scores from the past year in the interactive graph below.