The AIA reports that—while still in negative territory—the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) began to stabilize in May, easing from 32 in May to 40 in June. (A score below 50 indicates decreasing billings.) Inquiries moved from 38 to 49.3 (but the AIA notes that during the last recession, high inquiries did not convert to billings), and design contracts changed from 33.1 to 44.
“While business conditions remained soft at firms across the country, those with a multifamily residential specialization saw the most positive signs,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Unfortunately, conditions at firms with a commercial/industrial specialization are likely to remain weak for an extended period of time, until hospitality, office and retail facilities can fully reopen, and design demand for this space begins to increase.”
Explore ABI scores from the past year in the interactive graph below.