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.
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ABI January 2019: Firms start the year strong
This month's ABI score ended up being the highest in more than two years and substantially higher than the modest growth seen throughout 2018.
ABI December 2018: The year ends with slow billings growth
Though the pace of billings growth at architecture firms slowed modestly to end the year, firm billings increased every month of 2018.
ABI November 2018: Firm billings show strong growth
Identifying new qualified staff tops list of business-related concerns for 2019.
ABI October 2018: Business conditions improve modestly at architecture firms
Though growth is still occurring, billings at architecture firms softened again in October.
ABI September 2018: Business conditions strong heading into fall
Business conditions remained generally positive at architecture firms in September, with the Architecture Billings Index showing another month of growth in firm billings.
ABI August 2018: End of summer sees healthy billings rebound
Firm billings saw a healthy jump in August, a positive sign for economic conditions as firms enter what is traditionally a seasonal slowdown.