August 23, 2017 – The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) is an indicator for commercial and industrial building activity. The Work-on-the-Boards survey is given to architecture firms each month to report how billing activity performed in the previous month. The ABI is a reliable tool for firms to track architectural movements in the market.
Billings for July reported an increase of 51.9, down from June’s billings of 54.2. Along with the increase in billings, design contracts rose to 56.4 in July. The South, Midwest, and Northeast experienced the strongest billings growth while the West experienced moderate growth. The multi-family residential sector came in the strongest at 55.8 while mixed practice sector showed the lowest numbers at 48.4.
Even with the slight decline in the ABI, any reading over 50 signals an increase in billings for the month. The increase in billings shows there is a demand for more or newer buildings to be built. July is the sixth consecutive month of increases in billings which follows with increases in architectural and construction companies. Construction activity will not become apparent right away as there is a nine to twelve month lag time from the billings report.