AIA’s monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) for May came in at a score of 50.2. This is a 0.3-point decrease from last month’s score of 50.5, leaving the index little change since last month. The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S. and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, regionally, and by project type. A score above 50 represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.
“The last four consecutive months, firm billings have either decreased or been flat, the longest period of that level of sustained softness since 2012,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, in a press release. “While both inquiries into new projects and the value of new design contracts remained positive, they both softened in May, another sign the amount of pending work in the pipeline at firms may be starting to stabilize.”