New data from the AIA show that the Architecture Billings Index held at 40 in July, with the pace of decline last month remaining at about the same level as in June. (A score below 50 indicates decreasing billings.) New design inquiries eased from 49.3 to 49.1, and new design contracts dropped from 44 to 41.7.

“It’s clear the pandemic continued to contribute to uncertainty in business conditions, especially as cases spiked in states across the country,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “While clients expressed interest in exploring new projects, many are hesitant to sign onto new contracts with the exception of the multifamily residential sector, which came close to seeing billings growth in July.”

Explore ABI scores from the past year in the interactive graph below.