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Architecture Firms Report Modest Billings Growth

Architecture firm billings continued to grow at a modest pace in June, according to the American Institute of Architects. After a burst of stronger growth in the spring, the pace has returned to more modest growth over the last two months, with a score of 53.2 for June. Any score over 50 indicates billings growth.

However, inflation continuing to rise, as well as higher interest rates and a continued shortage of certain building and construction materials, means that the future is looking increasingly uncertain. While inquiries into new projects continued to grow at a steady pace this month, it was the slowest rate of growth since early 2021.

The value of new signed design contracts also fell to the slowest pace of growth since January 2021. Backlogs at firms, which had been growing at a slow pace recently, declined slightly, from an average of 7.2 months at the end of the first quarter of 2022, to an average of 7 months at the end of the second quarter. However, these are still extremely strong backlogs, meaning most firms still have a robust supply of work in the pipeline.

Business condition around the U.S.

Business conditions remained mixed in different areas of the country this month, as they have for most of 2022 so far. Following two months of modest growth, firm billings declined slightly at firms located in the Northeast in June. The pace of growth at firms in the South slowed further, after seeing the strongest growth earlier this year. Business conditions were strongest at firms located in the West for the third month in a row, and were also strong at firms located in the Midwest.

By firm specialization, firms with an institutional specialization reported the strongest growth for the first time since before the pandemic. The majority of firms with multifamily residential and commercial/industrial specializations also saw an increase in their billings, but the pace of that growth continued to slow at both.

Read more about staff engagement, inflation, and interest rates