ABI Growth Moderates, But Still Up
For the sixth consecutive month, architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services as reflected in the July Architecture Billings Index. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects reported the July ABI score was 51.9, down from a score of 54.2 in the previous month. This score still reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.5, up from a reading of 58.6 the previous month, while the new design contracts index increased from 53.7 to 56.4.