Demand for Design Services Down Nationwide, According to AIA’s Architecture Billings Index

Despite its widely beloved status, all is not well in the field of architecture. Our old friend the Architecture Billings Index dropped significantly last month. The American Institute of Architects reported the May ABI score was 45.8, following the previous month’s 48.4. This score reflects a sharp decrease in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings, and April marked the first negative reading in five months). “Given the ongoing uncertainly in the economic outlook, particularly the weak job growth numbers in recent months, this should be an alarm bell going off for the design and construction industry,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a statement announcing the dip. “The commercial/industrial sector is the only one recording gains in design activity at present, and even this sector has slowed significantly.”