April ABI Reports Positive Scores for Seventh Consecutive Month

The Architectural Billings Index (ABI) from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) indicates the seventh consecutive month of increased architecture firm billings. The second quarter of 2018 was kicked off with a modest jump from 51.0 to 52.0 in April. A leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects a rough nine- to 12-month lead time between architectural billings and spending.

“While there was slower growth in April for new project work coming into architecture firms, business conditions have remained healthy for the first four months of the year,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA. “Although growth in regional design activity was concentrated at firms in the sunbelt, there was balanced growth so far this year across all major construction sectors.”

Despite continued growth overall, the project inquiries index fell again last month to 56.7. Regional averages varied from a robust 55.1 reading in the West to a barely negative score of 49.6 in the Midwest. Positive numbers were reported across the sector index breakdown as well.