The American Institute of Architects' latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) eased to 54.6 in July, down slightly from 57.1 in June but still above the bench line of 50 (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries and contracts are still growing but also slowed, from 71.8 to 65 and 58.9 to 58, respectively.

“In prior business cycles, architecture firms generally saw their project work soften quickly and then recover slowly,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. “So the strength of this recovery is unprecedented. Firm leaders who have leaned into this economic upturn by reinvesting in their firms by hiring staff and upgrading their technology, will likely have a better year than those that anticipated a slower recovery.”

Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.