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Architecture Billings Slow, But Close 2018 With Growing Demand

Economic

Architecture firm billings growth softened in December but remained positive for the fifteenth consecutive month, according to a new report released today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for December was 50.4 compared to 54.7 in November.  Despite the positive billings, a softening in growth was seen across several regions and sectors, as well as in project inquiries and design contracts.

“Given the concerns over the ongoing tariff situation, it is not surprising to see a bit of a slowdown in progress on current projects,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Growing anxiety over unstable business conditions and the partial shutdown of the government may lead to further softening in the coming months.”

Key ABI highlights for December include:

  • Regional averages: Midwest (56.3), Northeast (51.6), South (49.4), West (49.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (53.1), commercial/industrial (51.2), mixed practice (50.2), multi-family residential (49.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 55.6
  • Design contracts index: 52.1

Regional and sector categories above are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts, and inquiries are monthly numbers.

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