In August, the AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped slightly from 50 to 48.1 (any score below 50.0 indicates a decrease in firm billings). The drop follows 10 consecutive months of essentially flat billings at architecture firms, a period preceded by robust growth in 2021 and 2022. The value of newly signed design contracts declined for the first time since April, however inquiries into new projects remained relatively strong.
“Business conditions at architecture firms continue to be sluggish,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker in a statement. “New project work coming into architecture firms as well ongoing project activity remain stalled in a relatively narrow range and exhibit very little month-to-month variation. Through this pause has taken pressure off tight staffing conditions across the profession, there is considerable uncertainty over the direction of future activity.”
However, despite the industry-wide economic downturn, firms with a commercial/industrial specialization reported billings growth for the third month in a row in August.
Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.