For the 11th time in the past 12 months, design firms have reported an overall increase in billings. After a brief drop in April, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has indicated 3 consecutive months of growth, most recently recording a 52.7 score for July. All regions and industry sectors reported growth in July, with the Northeast (54.3) and South (54.2) sectors reporting the strongest growth rates and the Midwest (50.8) and West (51.1) regions reporting modest growth.
The commercial sector (54.2) reported the strongest growth rate of all industry segments, but the residential sector (53.3) also continues to show positive signs, recording its 13th consecutive month of growth in billings. The institutional sector (50.6) continues its small but persistent growth, with a 12th consecutive ABI over 50.
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate 9-12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending