This month's American Institute of Architects/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reports that business conditions at architecture firms declined again in September, with a score of 44.8 (any score below 50.0 indicates decreasing business conditions). The score dropped for the first time in August, following 10 consecutive months of billings growth. This is the lowest reported score since December 2020.
“The September ABI score reflects a marked downturn in business conditions at architecture firms, with the sharpest decline observed since the peak of the pandemic," said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. "While more firms are reporting a decrease in billings, the report also shows the hesitance among clients to commit to new projects with a slump in newly signed design contracts. As a result, backlogs at architecture firms fell to 6.5 months on average in the third quarter, their lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2021.”
The September report shows that firms in the West are most impacted by challenging business conditions, while firms with an institutional specialization make up the only sector reporting flat billings.
Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.