The American Institute of Architects’ latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) increased from 51.3 in February to 58 in March, above the benchmark of 50 (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries and design contracts also increased from the previous month, up from 62.5 to 63.9, and 55.2 to 60.5, respectively.
“The spike in firm billings in March may reflect a desire to beat the continued interest rate hikes expected in the coming months,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “However, since project backlogs at architecture firms have reached seven months, a new all-time high, it appears that firms are having a difficult time keeping up with this uptick in demand for design services.”
Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.