COVID-19: Architecture Billings Remained Flat Throughout the Summer
The American Institute of Architects is reporting billings remained flat in August, registering a below average score of about 40 for the third consecutive month.
According to the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI), fewer firms reported declining billings than were experienced in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’ve been unchanged through June, July and August.
On the sunny side, inquiries for new projects grew in August for the first time since February, and the value of new design contracts increased to a score of 46.0. Scores below 50 indicate declining firm billings.
The ABI report breaks out billings geographically for four regions–Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. The Northeast region has been weakest, with an August score of 33.9.
Firms specializing in multifamily residential report stabilizing conditions, and almost saw overall billings growth in August for the first time in seven months, the ABI report stated. However, firms in commercial/industrial specialization remained very weak, and firms in institutional specialization saw modest stabilization.
July data–the most current for architectural services employment–show the industry shed another 6,000 positions from June to July. Since the pandemic began, the sector has experienced an overall 8.5% decline.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.