The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) from Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects (AIA) fell almost nine points — from 50.7 in January to 41.8 in February. This marks the index’s lowest level since October 2001. Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings.

“This is a clear indication that there could be tougher times ahead for design firms and a noticeable slowdown in commercial construction projects coming online in the foreseeable future,” says Kermit Baker, Ph.D., AIA chief economist. “Interestingly enough, we have also had some survey members reporting that their business is in great shape from a billings and demand standpoint. The one bright spot continues to be the institutional sector with continued positive conditions for construction projects such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings.”