After a strong rebound in May—to 51.0 from 48.5 the previous month—the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) from the American Institute of Architects and Deltek showed continued, but slowed, growth in June with a score of 50.1 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings). This marks the first time since last fall that there have been two consecutive months of scores above 50, indicating that firms may be recovering from recent adverse economic conditions.
“It is encouraging to see two consecutive months of stability in billings after a couple quarters of weakness due to high inflation, rising interest rates, and increased construction costs,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “We are still facing some headwinds in the broader economy, but this respite suggests that market conditions may be finding firmer ground.”
In May, Midwestern firms were largely responsible for the increased national ABI, and the region continues to report the strongest billings nationwide for an eighth consecutive month. However, last month's data indicates economic recovery across most U.S. regions. While firms reported that inquiries into new projects fell slightly (from 57.2 to 56.7), the value of new design contracts increased from 52.3 in May to 52.7 in June.
Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.