After six months of positive ABI scores, the August ABI score felljust below 50 to 49.7 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings*). July’s score was a 51.5. Though there was a drop, the overall trend remains positive and continues to point to modest gains.
Despite the decline, the AIA remains positive about the demand for architectural services. “This is only the second month this year where demand for architectural services has declined and it is only by a fraction of a point,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIAI, PhD. “Given the solid numbers for new design contracts and project inquiries, it doesn’t appear that this is the beginning of a broader downturn in the design and construction industry.”
Key August ABI highlights:
Regional averages: South (55.2), Midwest (52.8), West (49.0), Northeast (44.9)
Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (51.8), multi-family residential (50.9), commercial / industrial (50.8), institutional (50.7)
Project inquiries index: 61.8
Design contracts index: 52.7
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
*The ABI (Architectural Billing Index) is an economic indicator of construction activity. The score is derived from results of a monthly survey asking AIA firms whether their billings increased, decreased or stayed the same from prior month. Anything about a score of 50 indicates an increase in billings; below a 50 indicates a decline. The score is also a predictor of construction spending with a nine to twelve-month gap between architectural spending and construction spending. ABI news is broken out on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Related- July ABI Recap
Related- June ABI Score
For more information on ABI scores, click here.