The American Institute of Architects issued a press release today titled "Substantial Decline in Architecture Billings" which shows that the AIA's Architecture Billing Index (ABI) fell from 50.1 in July to 47.2 in August. This is the largest drop since it fell from 55.9 in December 2016 to 49.4 in January 2017. Project inquiries dipped slightly from 54.9 last month to 54.5 yet the Design Contract Index fell from 49 in August to 47.9. Ouch...Per my usual spiel, any value greater than 50 means that architecture billings are increasing; conversely, any value less than 50 means billings are decreasing. The ABI is a leading indicator of commercial building construction by approximately nine to 12 months. Last month I wrote "The economy is slowing, but it's not slow." It appears to be slowing faster than I expected. Again, no need for a full-blown panic, awareness of a slowdown is warranted.
Here's is the regional breakdown for August 2019:
Sector Averages for August 2019: