Billing Activity Still Contracting

March 1, 2021

Billing Activity Still Contracting

The Architecture Billings Index score for January was 44.9, gaining 2.6 points from the December reading.

“The broader economy entered a soft spot during the fourth quarter of last year, and business conditions at design firms have reflected this general slowdown,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA.

In January the project inquiries index was 56.8, up from 52.4 the previous month. The design contracts index was 48.8, up from 48.5.

Regional averages for January were mixed.

December January
West 43.4 42.8
South 46.8 47.4
Midwest 43.6 42.2
Northeast 38.8 41.9

Baker added, “While federal stimulus and the increasing pace of vaccinations may begin to accelerate progress in the coming months, the year has gotten off to a slow start, with architecture firms in all regions of the country and in all specializations reporting continued declines in project billings.”