According to ARCHITECT's Ayda Ayoubi and the Hanley Wood Data Studio, the AIA's monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 52.8 in May, marking the eighth 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.

May's score is 0.8 points higher than April's reading of 52.0, indicating that business continues to trend upward despite labor shortages and cost inflation of building materials. New project inquiries—which AIA economists consider to be the most reliable indicator of future billings—increased 2.6 points in May to a score of 59.3, indicating that billing will likely continue to rise in June.

“Architecture firms continue to have plenty of work as they enter the busiest part of the design and construction season,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, in a press release. “This is especially true for firms serving the institutional building sector, which reported their strongest growth in billings in several years.”

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