The American Institute of Architects/Deltek Architecture Billings Index remained below 50 for the fourth consecutive month. The score of 45.3 did increase one point from October, indicating slightly fewer firms reporting a decline in architecture billings. Any score below 50 indicates decreasing business conditions. 

“This marks the seventh month in 2023 with a decline in billings. Over the past three months this pace of decline has accelerated, with firms in all specializations and in all regions of the country reporting weakening business conditions,” said Kermit Baker, PhD, AIA chief economist. 

Firms in all regions reported a decline in billings. Firms specializing in multi-family residential continue to remain the weakest and business conditions declined further at firms with institutional specialization. 

The ABI score is an approximately nine-to-12-month, look-ahead economic indicator of construction activity in nonresidential construction spending. The score is derived from a monthly survey of architecture firms that measures the change in the number of services provided to clients. Baker said in a statement that there were some encouraging signs in the November survey, including an uptick in new project inquiries.

Key ABI highlights for November include:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (44.4); Midwest (49.0); South (46.7); West (39.5)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial/industrial (45.7); institutional (46.6); mixed practice (firms that do not have at least half of their billings in any one other category) (42.7); multifamily residential (42.1)
  • Project inquiries index: 56.9
  • Design contracts index: 48.1