Demand for design services from U.S. architecture firms continues to grow at a vigorous pace, according to a new report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for May rose to 58.5 compared to 57.9 in April (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). May’s ABI score is one of the highest in the index’s 25-year history. During May, the new design contracts score reached its second consecutive record high with a score of 63.2, while new project inquiries also recorded a near-record high score at 69.2.
“Despite ballooning costs for construction materials and delivery delays, design activity is roaring back as more and more places reopen,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “However, concern over rising inflation and ongoing supply chain disruptions, as well as emerging labor shortages, could dampen the emerging construction recovery.”
Key ABI highlights for May:
- regional averages are 63.4 for the Midwest, 59 for the South, 57.4 for the West, and 54.2 for the Northeast;
- sector index breakdown are 60.6 for commercial/industrial, 59.5 for multi-family residential, 57.9 for mixed practice, and 57.1 for institutional;
- project inquiries index is 69.2; and
- design contracts index is 63.2.