Billings index rises for fourth consecutive month

The US billings index has risen for the fourth month in a row, suggesting demand for design services is growing sustainably, the American Institute of Architects has said.

The score for May was 53.0, up from 50.9 in April. Anything above 50 indicates an increase.

The new projects inquiry index was also up, from 60.2 in April to 62.4.

And the new design contracts index also crept up from 53.2 to 54.8.

AIA chief economist Kermit Baker said: “The fact that the data surrounding both new project inquiries and design contracts have remained positive every month this year, while reaching their highest scores for the year, is a good indication that both the architecture and construction sectors will remain healthy for the foreseeable future.

“This growth hasn’t been an overnight escalation, but rather a steady, stable increase.”

The Architecture Billings Index, a leading economic indicator of construction activity, reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.