Demand for design services in December increased for the third month in a row, according to a report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 52.5 for December reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). During December, both the new project inquiries and design contracts scores were positive, posting scores of 58.7 and 53.4 respectively.
“Despite the ongoing slowdown in billings in the Northeast, balanced growth across sectors and regions looks more positive for the coming year,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, Ph.D., “Factors outside of the construction sector, such as trade policy and international events, could still impact demand for design services, however recent fears about a downturn in construction activity have largely subsided.”
Key ABI highlights for December include:
- Regional averages: West (54.0); South (52.2); Midwest (51.9); Northeast (44.0)
- Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (54.0); multi-family residential (51.0); mixed practice (50.8); institutional (50.8)
- Project inquiries index: 58.7
- Design contracts index: 53.4
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.