In the News – AIA Billings Index Records Increase in October, Following Two Declines
After two consecutive months of softening business conditions, architecture firms saw a modest rebound in their firm billings in October, and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score rose to 50.8, indicating that a modestly larger share of firms reported an increase in their firm billings for the month than reported a decrease.
However, fewer firms reported an increase in inquiries into new projects this month, and firms also reported a decline in the value of new design contracts that were signed in October (48.7). This marks the second month of the year with a decline in the design contracts index, which has been relatively strong and steady for the last three years. While none of these indicators signals immediate alarm, it will be important to continue to keep a close eye on business conditions over the coming months.
While business conditions at firms located in the South region of the country remained strong in October, firms located in all other regions saw a decline in their firm billings for the month. Firms located in the West reported a very modest decline, but firms located in the Northeast and Midwest saw a more significant softening of their billings. Firms with commercial/industrial and institutional specializations also saw modest slowdowns in October, with only firms with a residential specialization reporting improving business conditions.