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Architecture billings index continues to decline


Architectural firm billings continued to decline in February, indicating softening business conditions, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report. The score for February fell to 48.0 from 49.3 in January. (Scores below 50 indicate a decline in billings.)

While overall billings have declined every month since October, the pace of the decline remains relatively modest, and has not accelerated dramatically. This could potentially indicate a shorter slowdown at firms, rather than a more dramatic downturn and full-blown recession, AIA said in its release.

Inquiries into new projects continued to improve, as did the value of new design contracts. Both indicators suggest that design work is expected to improve in the coming months.

“An increase in interest rates and an unsettled economy are causing owners and investors to take a closer look at their plans for construction projects,” Jessica Reinert, AIA Iowa’s executive director, said in a prepared statement. “Despite a small decline in February billings, the majority of Iowa architecture firms are reporting a positive outlook for the months to come.”

AIA also asked firm leaders about hiring and compensation. Overall, 86% of responding firm leaders indicated that recruiting new architectural staff is currently an issue at their firm, with 62% indicating that it is a major issue. In addition, 83% of firm leaders reported that meeting future staff compensation expectations was an issue, with 47% indicating that it is a major issue.

To read more from the report, click here.

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