Business conditions in the design industry rebounded in September following a dip into negative territory in August, according to the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) released by the AIA today. The September ABI score was 53.7, up significantly from a mark of 49.1 in August, yet down from July’s value of 54.7. The project inquiries index decreased slightly, dropping from 61.8 in August to 61.0 in September; Despite its second month of declining values, the index remains firmly planted in positive territory. The design contracts index, another nation-wide measurement, also dipped, falling from 55.3 in August to 53.2 in September. Scores above 50 indicate growth in billings, whereas those below 50 reflect a contraction.
“Aside from uneven demand for design services in the Northeast, all regions and project sectors are in good shape,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, said in a press release. “Areas of concern are shifting to supply issues for the industry, including volatility in building materials costs, a lack of a deep enough talent pool to keep up with demand, as well as a lack of contractors to execute design work.”
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