ARCHITECT reports that the AIA's monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 52.0 in April, marking the seventh consecutive month of gains. The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S., and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, regionally, and by project type. A score above 50, as seen this month, represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.

April's score marks a one-point increase over March's reading of 51.0, indicating that business continues to trend upward despite labor shoratages and cost inflation of building materials. Like last month, new project inquiries—which AIA economists consider to be the most reliable indicator of future billings—decreased to a score of 56.7, indicating that demand for design services could be softer again in May.

“While there was slower growth in April for new project work coming into architecture firms, business conditions have remained healthy for the first four months of the year,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA. “Although growth in regional design activity was concentrated at firms in the sunbelt, there was balanced growth so far this year across all major construction sectors.”

Read More