The American Institute of Architects’ latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index's pace of decline slowed slightly, from 46.6 in November to 47.5 in December, still below the benchmark of 50 (scores under 50 indicate an decrease in firm billings). New inquiries also saw a modest increase from the previous month, from 52.0 to 52.3, and though new design contracts remained negative they eased from to 46.9 to 49.4, respectively.

“Despite strong revenue growth last year, architecture firms have modest expectations regarding business conditions this coming year,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. “With ABI scores for the entire fourth quarter of 2022 in negative territory, a slowdown in construction activity is expected later this year, though the depth of the downturn remains unclear.”

Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.