Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment.
From the AIA: Continuing Decline in Architecture Billings, AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index Reports
The AIA/Deltek Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reports that business conditions at architecture firms continued to soften in October. For the third consecutive month, the ABI score was under 50, indicating that a significant share of firms is seeing a decline in billings.
“This report indicates not only a decrease in billings at firms, but also a reduction in the number of clients exploring and committing to new projects, which could potentially impact future billings. The soft conditions were evident across the entire country as well as across all major nonresidential building sectors,” said Kermit Baker, PhD, AIA Chief Economist.
The score of 44.3 for October dipped slightly below the score of 44.8 in September. Billings were universally soft across the entire country in October, with firms located in the West and Northeast continuing to report the softest conditions overall for the second month in a row.
• Regional averages: Northeast (42.1); South (48.5); Midwest (48.9); West (40.0)
• Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (43.7); institutional (49.1); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (44.0); multifamily residential (40.1)
Click on graph for larger image.
This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 44.3 in October, down from 44.8 in September. Anything below 50 indicates a decrease in demand for architects’ services.
Note: This includes commercial and industrial facilities like hotels and office buildings, multi-family residential, as well as schools, hospitals and other institutions.
This index usually leads CRE investment by 9 to 12 months, so this index suggests a slowdown in CRE investment in 2024.