WASHINGTON — The last three months have shown steadily increasing demand for design services and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is now at its highest level since 2007, announced the American Institute of Architects (AIA). A leading economic indicator of construction activity, the July ABI score was 55.8, up strongly from 53.5 in June, reported the AIA. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index remained high at 66, following a very robust mark of 66.4 the previous month.

The AIA also said it has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in July was 54.9.

“Business conditions for the design and construction marketplace, and those industries associated with it, appear to be well-positioned for continued growth in the coming months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, Ph.D. “The key to a more widespread boost in design activity continues to be the institutional sector which is starting to exhibit signs of life after languishing for the better part of the last five-plus years.”

The regional scores were the Northeast at 55.5, South at 55.1, Midwest at 54.1, and West at 53.5.

The sector index breakdown was mixed practice at 61, multifamily residential at 56.5, institutional at 53.3, and commercial/industrial at 51.2.

For more information, visit www.aia.org.

Publication date: 9/8/2014

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