WASHINGTON (July 22, 2020)—Demand for design services from architecture firms began to stabilize in June, following their peak declines in April, according to a new report today from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for June was 40.0 compared to 32.0 in May. The May ABI score indicates that a significant share of architecture firms still saw their billings decline from May to June, however the share reporting declines slowed significantly. Index scores for new project inquiries and new design contracts also showed signs of stabilizing, posting scores of 49.3 and 44.0 respectively.
“While business conditions remained soft at firms across the country, those with a multifamily residential specialization saw the most positive signs,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Unfortunately, conditions at firms with a commercial/industrial specialization are likely to remain weak for an extended period of time, until hospitality, office and retail facilities can fully reopen, and design demand for this space begins to increase.”
Key ABI figures for June include:
- Regional averages: Midwest (36.8); West (36.8); South (35.9); Northeast (34.2)
- Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (44.7); institutional (38.9); mixed practice (35.3); commercial/industrial (30.1)
- Project inquiries index: 49.3
- Design contracts index: 44.0
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.