Construction + Economy

AIA Report: Demand for Design Services Moderates But Remains Strong

Architecture firms reported increasing demand for design services in October 2021, according to The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The ABI score for October was 54.3. While this score is down slightly from September’s score of 56.6, it still indicates very strong business conditions overall (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings from the prior month). During October, scoring for both the new project inquiries and design contracts expanded, posting scores of 62.9 and 58.0 respectively.

“Unlike the economy-wide payroll figures, architecture services employment has surpassed its pre-pandemic high,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Staffing continues to be a growing concern at architecture firms and may serve to limit their ability to take on new projects.”

Key ABI highlights for October include:

* Regional averages: Midwest (61.9); South (58.2); West (53.4); Northeast (48.6)
* Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (58.7); commercial/industrial (57.4); multi-family residential (55.8); institutional (51.4)

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

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