The monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 51.9 in July, down 2.3 points from June’s 54.2, the AIA announced today.

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, and regionally, as well as by project type. A score above 50, as seen every month since February, represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.