AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index Reflects Decline in April

ABI April Report

WASHINGTON – May 22, 2024 – Architecture firm billings remained soft in April, with an AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 48.3 for the month. The score rose from 43.6 in March but still indicates that billings continue to decline at most architecture firms. While the value of newly signed design contracts dipped slightly in April, there remains interest from clients as inquiries into new projects continue to increase.

“These findings indicate that while there is still caution among clients, there are also positive signs with increasing inquiries into new projects,” said Kermit Baker, PhD, AIA Chief Economist. “Continued high interest rates make it difficult for some projects to move forward, but there is ongoing interest in pursuing these projects once conditions improve. In the meantime, design activity is expected to remain sluggish.”

Architecture firm billings continued to decline at firms in all regions of the country, with firms located in the Midwest and South reporting the sharpest declines. Business conditions also remain soft at firms of all specializations, with the weakest conditions continuing at firms with a multifamily residential specialization.

The ABI score is a leading economic indicator of construction activity, providing an approximately nine-to-twelve-month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The score is derived from a monthly survey of architecture firms that measures the change in the number of services provided to clients.

Key ABI highlights for April include:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (45.9); Midwest (44.2); South (44.7); West (47.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (47.4); institutional (46.1); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (43.9); multifamily residential (45.6)
  • Project inquiries index: 54.8
  • Design contracts index: 49.2

The regional and sector categories are calculated as three-month moving averages and may not always average out to the national score.

Visit AIA’s website for detailed information about this, and past billing index reports.

About AIA

Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state, and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards.

About Deltek

Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses and the home of AIA MasterSpec®. More than 30,000 organizations, including 12,000 Architecture & Engineering firms, rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management, and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success for A&E firms of all sizes by helping them achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue. Learn more at Deltek.