The American Institute of Architects' latest data show that the Architectural Billing Index (ABI) increased to 56.6 in September, up slightly from 55.6 in August (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries and contracts are still growing, but the pace has slowed since last month, from 64.7 to 61.8, and 56.6 to 54.7, respectively.
Although the steady increase in demand for design services over the past eight months rivals ABI scores from previous post-recession periods, AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, predicts an imminent decline in the coming months. “It’s unlikely that revenue increases at architecture firms can sustain this pace,” he said, “Given that growth in both new design contracts and project inquiries have moderated in recent months, we expect to see a similar path for the ABI.”
Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.