The American Institute of Architects’ latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index dropped from 56.5 in April to 53.5 in May, still above the benchmark of 50 (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries and design contracts, however, increased from the previous month, from 62.3 to 63.9 and 55.4 to 56.9, respectively.

“The Northeast region and Institutional sector have struggled with slow billings activity, but now have posted consecutive months of positive scores,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “With the improvement in inquiries and new design projects, demand for design services will likely remain high for the next several months.

Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.