The American Institute of Architects’ latest data show that the Architectural Billings Index rose slightly from 48.4 in December to 49.3 in January, still below the benchmark of 50 (scores under 50 indicate a decrease in firm billings). New inquiries and design contracts, however, saw an  increase from the previous month, from 52.6 to 55.2, and from to 50 to 53.4, respectively.

“While the downturn in design activity extended to four months in January, there are signs of easing,” says AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker. “In particular, architecture firms reported that new project work has begun to increase, signifying that this decline in billings may reverse in coming months.”

Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.