Architecture Billings Index (ABI)
The Architecture Billings Index is an economic indicator for nonresidential construction activity, with a lead time of approximately 9–12 months. Investment groups like Wells Fargo, media outlets, firms of all sizes, and business leaders rely on this leading monthly economic indicator to assess business conditions and predict and track the market.
The index is derived from AIA’s Work-on-the-Boards survey, which has gathered data on shifts in billings from architectural firm leaders for over 20 years. This data is a trusted tool used by the design and construction industry and other firms to predict and track movements in the market
Examples of the ABI in use:
- Firm strategic planning: ADD Inc., a multidisciplinary design firm with 200 employees, uses the ABI to help prepare for market fluctuations and ramp-up hiring.
- Determining business cycle shifts: Johnson Controls, which provides buildings services, looks to ABI for an early picture of construction trends to use in resource planning and stockholder guidance—and to identify expansion opportunities.
- Timing in a changing economy: One of the largest privately held family-owned real estate development and construction firms, Gilbane Inc., finds the ABI vital to help manage budgets, prepare for market movements, manage RFPs and seek leads.
Need more examples of how to use the ABI?
Use our whitepapers to help you maximize its value.
Are you an architecture firm owner or principal?
Participate in our monthly survey to compare your firm to others, track the economy and local business conditions, and use data to target business opportunities.
ABI October 2022: Architecture firm billings take a sharp downward turn
Billings at architecture firms softened considerably in October with an ABI score of 47.7, as firms reported the first decline in billings since January 2021.
ABI September 2022: Despite slowing billings growth, firm backlogs remain robust
Architecture firm billings grew at a modest pace in September.
ABI August 2022: Billings continue to grow at architecture firms
Business conditions remained generally strong at architecture firms in August.
ABI July 2022: Architecture firm billings grow at a slower pace
While architecture firm billings grew for the 18th consecutive month in July, the pace of growth continued to slow.
ABI June 2022: Architecture firms continue to report modest billings growth
Architecture firm billings continued to grow at a modest pace in June.
ABI May 2022: Business conditions at architecture firms remain strong despite economic headwinds
Architecture firms continued to report strong business conditions in May, despite increasing headwinds in the economy.