Architectural Billings Stabilizing but Remain Negative

July 23rd, 2020 by Editor

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) released a report this week that notes the demand for design services from architecture firms began to stabilize in June, following their peak declines in April.

The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June was 40.0 compared to 32.0 in May. The May ABI score indicates that a significant share of architecture firms still saw their billings decline from May to June, however the share reporting declines slowed significantly. Index scores for new project inquiries and new design contracts also showed signs of stabilizing, posting scores of 49.3 and 44.0 respectively.

“While business conditions remained soft at firms across the country, those with a multifamily residential specialization saw the most positive signs,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Unfortunately, conditions at firms with a commercial/industrial specialization are likely to remain weak for an extended period of time, until hospitality, office and retail facilities can fully reopen, and design demand for this space begins to increase.”

Key ABI figures for June include regional averages: Midwest (36.8); West (36.8); South (35.9); Northeast (34.2); and sector index breakdown of multi-family residential (44.7); institutional (38.9); mixed practice (35.3); commercial/industrial (30.1). The project inquiries index is at 49.3 and the design contracts index is at 44.0.

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

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