After five months of positive readings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has fallen into negative terrain. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the April ABI score was 48.4, following a mark of 50.4 in March. This score reflects a decrease in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 54.4, down from mark of 56.6 the previous month.
"Considering the continued volatility in the overall economy, this decline in demand for design services isn't terribly surprising," said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "Also, favorable conditions during the winter months may have accelerated design billings, producing a pause in projects that have moved ahead faster than expected."
Key April ABI Highlights
Regional averages: Northeast (51.0), Midwest (50.1), South (49.0), West (48.0)
Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (53.8), multi-family residential (50.5), institutional (46.6), mixed practice (45.0)
Project inquiries index: 54.4