The American Institute of Architects reported that August’s Architectural Billing Index* (ABI) rose 1.8 points in the month of August, bringing the score to a 53.7. Any score above a 50 indicates an increase in architectural billings. August marks the seventh consecutive month showing an increase in demand for architectural services.
All four regions showed a score over 50 for the month of August: South (55.7), Midwest (52.5), Northeast (54.3), West (51.3). Every region showed month over month growth, with the exception of the Midwest. The South registered the largest increased from the prior month and had the highest overall score.
The commercial and industrial sectors showed particular strength; the ABI score rose 2.2 points from July, bringing the sector’s August ABI score to a 57.6. This is the strongest reading for this market sector since 2007. The ABI score for the residential and institutional sectors fell for the second straight month. However, both markets remain above a 50.
New Project Inquiries vs New Design Contracts:
The new projects inquiry index was 62.5, increasing its climb from the previous month, which was 59.5. The new design contracts indexed fell from July’s reading of 56.2 to a 54.2, though it remains safely above 50.
*The Architectural Billing Index (ABI) 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 the 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 9-12 month gap between architectural spending and construction spending. ABI news is broken out on a monthly and quarterly basis.