Washington, DC, April 23, 2014 — Following a modest two-month recovery in the level of demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index again turned negative in March.
The American Institute of Architects reported the March ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 50.7 in February.
Any score above 50 indicates an increase in design service billings. The new projects inquiry index was 57.9, up from the reading of 56.8 the previous month.
This month AIA added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in March was 48.2.
“This protracted softening in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market the last year and a half,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.
“Hopefully, some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions over this past winter. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”