Architecture Billings Index Shows Encouraging Outlook for 2018

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is reporting an increase in architecture firm billings for February from its Architecture Billings Index (ABI), with several segments showing an encouraging outlook for 2018.

“We remain optimistic about the trends we’re seeing at architecture firms this year with the ABI continuing to show growth in February,” says AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “We saw several bright spots reflected in February’s data, as billings remained strong at firms located in the west and midwest.”

While the pace of growth in design activity slowed a bit in February for an ABI score of 52.0 (any score over 50 indicates billings growth), it still reflects a healthy business environment. In particular, firms with a multifamily residential or an institutional specialization continued to report strong billings.

Key February ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: West (57.6), Midwest (54.5), South (54.4), Northeast (47.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (56.6), institutional (53.8), commercial/industrial (51), mixed practice (49.7)
  • Project inquiries index: 62.4
  • Design contracts index: 54.5

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