AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index Indicates Rebound in May Business Conditions

by | Jun 22, 2023 | News


WASHINGTON  – Architecture firms experienced a rebound in billings in May after a downturn in April, according to the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Deltek. The index score for May was the highest it has been since September 2022. Inquiries into new projects and design contracts also increased this month, reaching their highest levels since February.

The billings score for April increased from 48.5 in April to 51.0 in May (any score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings). Firms also reported that inquiries into new projects accelerated to 57.2 from 53.9 the previous month. Further, the value of new design contracts also moved up to 52.3 in May from 49.8 in April.

“The modest improvement in overall demand for architectural services that we saw last month is encouraging news”, said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker Hon. AIA, Ph.D., “However, there continues to be variation in the performance of firms by regional location and building specialization. This suggests that overall business conditions for the profession likely will continue to be variable.”

Despite growth in the overall ABI this month, business conditions remain variable in different regions of the country. Billings improved at firms located in the South for the second consecutive month in May, while they were essentially flat at firms located in the Midwest, following six months of growth. However, billings continued to decline at firms located in both the West and Northeast, where scores have been below 50 since last fall.

By firm specialization, business conditions softened further at firms with a multifamily residential specialization in May, falling to the lowest level in two years. Billings also declined for the ninth consecutive month at firms with a commercial/industrial specialization. On the other hand, business conditions improved for the second month in a row at firms with an institutional specialization, as they reported their strongest growth since last year.

Key ABI highlights for May include:

  • Regional averages: South (52.3); Midwest (49.6); Northeast (48.7); West (47.7)
  • Sector index breakdown: institutional (53.4); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (52.7); commercial/industrial (47.5); multi-family residential (43.0)
  • Project inquiries index: 57.2
  • Design contracts index: 52.3

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.