While several atypically warm months to start the winter led to elevated billings, architects participating in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Work-On-the-Boards survey said their billings slowed down again in February with the arrival of more seasonably cold weather. Declines in billings were reported in nearly every region of the country, although the pace continued to pick up in the South. Residential billings also continued to stabilize after months of decline in 2006.
According to an article by Jennifer Riskus, AIA's research specialist, that was posted on www.aia.org, although the pace of growth for both billings and inquiries slowed somewhat in February, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) remained above 50 with a score of 53, indicating that growth continues to be solid. As with billings, inquiries also slowed slightly in February after showing a surge at the beginning of the year. The article said, “Inquiries remain strong enough that there presently is no need for concern.”
With the arrival of winter weather after an unseasonably warm December and January, AIA said the pace of growth slipped in all regions of the country in February, except the South, where it accelerated slightly. The pace in the Northeast in particular began to decline after having been extremely elevated recently. The slowdown in the West that began in December continued, and the Midwest also eased slightly, but scores for both remain above 50, a good sign that growth will continue into the spring.