June 21, 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 May increased to 53.0, up from April’s billings of 50.9. Along with the increase in billings, design contracts rose to 54.8 from April’s 53.2. The South and West experienced the strongest billings growth while the Midwest was moderate and the Northeast came in low at 46.5. The mixed practice sector came in the strongest at 55.8 while commercial/industrial and institutional showed the lowest numbers at 51.2.
The increase this month in the ABI shows an increase in demand for more or newer buildings to be built. A jump from the previous month doesn’t necessarily mean the economy will boom this month as this index is incredibly volatile, but the long run shows an average close to 52. The last four months have shown expansion, as anything over 50 means there is an increase in billings for that month. Both architectural firms and construction companies benefit from an increase in billings.