The AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reported a score of 43.6 for March, down from the previous month's score of 49.5 (any score below 50 indicates a decline in billings), showing an increased softening of business conditions for architecture firms. This marks the 14th consecutive month of declining billings, as firms grapple with inflation, supply chain issues, and other economic challenges.

“Elevated construction costs coupled with prolonged high interest rates continue to discourage new project activity,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. However, he notes that institutional design work appears to have stabilized, providing a solid foundation for the profession as it awaits more favorable economic conditions for construction.

The decline in billings was reported across all regions of the country, with the Midwest and South experiencing the softest business conditions this month. Firms of all specializations saw a decline in billings, but those with a commercial/industrial focus experienced a faster pace of decline.

Compare recent ABI scores with the interactive graph below.