06.26.2024

Architecture Business Conditions Decline in May, AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index Reports

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ABI 2023

The pipeline of new work coming into firms is showing increasing softness.

WASHINGTON – June 26, 2024 – The AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score declined to 42.4 in May, as more firms reported a decrease in billings than the month prior.

“The decline in the May ABI score continues a year and a half of weakness in design billings at U.S. architecture firms. However, firms only reported modest declines over the first half of this period,” said Kermit Baker, PhD, AIA Chief Economist. “Over the past nine months, volatility has increased, and scores have softened more significantly, with the May score the weakest reported since the end of the pandemic recession.”

The pipeline of new work coming into firms is showing increasing softness. While inquiries into new projects continue to increase, they did so at a slower pace than in recent months. Additionally, architecture firm billings remained soft across all regions and sectors in May. Billings declined at firms in all regions of the country for the fourth consecutive month, as conditions remained weakest at firms located in the Midwest.

The ABI score is a leading economic indicator of construction activity, providing an approximately nine-to-twelve-month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The score is derived from a monthly survey of architecture firms that measures the change in the number of services provided to clients.

Key ABI highlights for May include:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (47.7); Midwest (41.7); South (46.0); West (46.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (48.2); institutional (43.2); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (42.8); multifamily residential (47.3)
  • Project inquiries index: 52.1
  • Design contracts index: 45.6

An index score of 50 represents no change in firm billings from the previous month, a score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings from the previous month, and a score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings from the previous month.

The regional and sector categories are calculated as three-month moving averages and may not always average out to the national score.

Visit AIA’s website for detailed information about this, and past billing index reports.

About AIA
Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state, and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being.
AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.

About Deltek
Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses and the home of AIA MasterSpec®. More than 30,000 organizations, including 12,000 Architecture & Engineering firms, rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management, and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success for A&E firms of all sizes by helping them achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue. Learn more at Deltek.

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