The American Institute of Architects’ latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index increased from 51 in June to 53.3 in August, above the benchmark of 50 (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries also went up from the previous month, from 56.1 to 57.9, while design contracts decreased slightly, from 52.9 to 52.3.

"While a strengthening billings score is encouraging, the flat scoring across regions and sectors is indicative of a nationwide deceleration over the next several months," said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. “A variety of economic storm clouds continue to gather, but since design activity continues to increase, we can expect at least another 9–12-month runway before building construction activity is negatively affected."

Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.