Demand for Design Services Slows

Demand for design services from architecture firms continued to decrease in November, according to a new report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The pace of decline during November accelerated from October, posting an Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 46.6 from 47.7 (any score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings). The pace of inquiries into new projects slowed, but remained positive with a score of 52.0, however new design contracts remained in negative territory with a score of 46.9.

“Given the slowdown in new project work, many architecture firms will rely on their near record levels of backlogs to support revenue,” says AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Still, firm leaders remain largely optimistic about future business trends. Almost two-thirds of architecture firms project that 2023 will be either a good year or great year for their firm.”  

Key ABI highlights for November include:

  • Regional averages: South (50.5), Midwest (47.6), West (45.8), Northeast (42.4)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (51.5), institutional (47.7), multifamily residential (46.1), commercial/industrial (44.2)

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Visit AIA’s website for more ABI information.

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