The American Institute of Architects released new economic data this morning, indicating a significant increase in the demand for design services in March. The latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score rose to 58.0, up sharply from a score of 51.3 in February.
The March scores for both new project inquiries and design contracts also expanded to 63.9 and 60.5, respectively.
March ABI Highlights
- Regional averages: South (57.2); Midwest (56.2); West (54.0); Northeast (46.3)
- Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (58.2); multi-family residential (57.2); commercial/industrial (55.3); institutional (50.5)
“The spike in firm billings in March may reflect a desire to beat the continued interest rate hikes expected in the coming months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, since project backlogs at architecture firms have reached seven months, a new all-time high, it appears that firms are having a difficult time keeping up with this uptick in demand for desig…