The January Architecture Billings Index was 49.9 in January, the first time in 9 months that the AIA’s index was below 50. The January number was down from a mark of 52.7 in December and reflects a very modest decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The New Projects Inquiry index was 58.7, down from a reading of 59.1 the previous month.
“This easing in demand for design services is a bit of a surprise given the overall strength of the market over the past nine months,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Likely some of this can be attributed to severe weather conditions in January. We will have a better sense if there is a reason for more serious concern over the next couple of months.”
Here are some highlights:
- Regional averages: South (54.8), West (49.3), Midwest (50.8), Northeast (46.0)
- Sector breakdown: Multi-family residential (51.4), institutional (53.0), commercial / industrial (50.9), mixed practice (46.9)
- Project inquiries index: 58.7
- Design contracts index: 51.3