Business conditions continue to look up for architects, with firms showing improvement in nearly every month over the last year. The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index for August grew to a score of 53.8, up from a reading of 52.7 in July. This score reflects an increase in requests for design services, and any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The new projects inquiry index did not fare as well, however, with an August score of 63.0, down from 66.4 the previous month.
“As business conditions at architecture firms have improved 11 out of the past 12 months, it is fair to say that the design professions are in a recovery mode,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, said in a statement. “This upturn signals an impending turnaround in nonresidential construction activity, but a key component to maintaining this momentum is the ability of businesses to obtain financing for real estate projects, and for a resolution to the federal government budget and debt ceiling impasse.”
All regions also reported growth, with the West taking the lead at 54.8, followed by the Northeast (54.4), Midwest (52.8), and South (51.9). With a mark of 60.1, mixed practice scored the biggest improvement among all sectors. Commercial/industrial and multi-family residential came in at 54.8 and 52.1, respectively, while institutional eked out a reading of 50.8. Both sector and regional figures are calculated as a three-month moving average.