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Industry News / Market Forecast

April 24, 2019

Architect Billings Slow, While Contractor Confidence Rises

The AIA's Architectural Billings Index fell to 47.8 in March, the first time in more than two years that billings at architectural firms have declined. Any score below 50 indicates billings are falling, while a score above 50 signals rising billings.
 
"While this score may raise concerns about the start of a period of weaker business conditions, it is important to note that it does follow on the heels of a particularly tough late winter period for much of the country," according to the AIA Economics Department. "In addition, many indicators of future work at firms remain positive, with both inquiries into new work and the value of new design contracts continuing to grow, although the pace of growth of design contracts has slowed in recent months. Backlogs of work at architecture firms also rose to 6.5 months in March, up from 6.3 months one year ago."

In the latest Associated Builders and Contractors' (ABC) Construction Confidence Index (CCI), contractors are bullish about non-residential construction prospects.

All three components of the Index are well above the threshold of 50, which delineates a rising market from a falling one. The CCI for sales expectations increased from 68.4 in January to 69.4 in February; profit margin expectations increased from 60.6 to 63.3; and expectations for staffing level growth rose from 68.2 to 68.5. More than 70 percent of survey respondents expect their sales to increase in the first half of 2019.

 


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