There was a negligible increase in the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) last month. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington, D.C., reported the June ABI rating was 46.0, up slightly from a reading of 45.8 the previous month. This score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index increased from 55.5 to 57.7.

"The steep decline in non-residential property values has slowed investment in new facilities," says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Ph.D., Hon. AIA. "Conditions at architecture firms continue to remain very soft, but we’re optimistic that they will improve before the end of the year.

Key June ABI highlights include:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (47.7), South (46.7), Midwest (46.3), West (43.6)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (50.6), multi-family residential (46.5), institutional (45.0), mixed practice (44.7)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.7