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The latest data from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) shows the Architectural Billings Index dipping from 50.4 in March to 48.5 in April, below the benchmark of 50 (scores over 50 indicate an increase in firm billings). New inquiries grew from 53.1 to 53.9, while the decrease in design contracts slowed from to 48.9 to 49.8.

“The ongoing weakness in design activity at architecture firms reflects clients’ concerns regarding the economic outlook,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “High construction costs, extended project schedules, elevated interest rates, and growing difficulty in obtaining financing are all weighing on the construction market.”

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