The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped from 50.5 to 47.6 in the month of April. Considered a leading economic survey of commercial construction patterns, the ABI also indicates what might be in store for residential design and construction spending. Any score below 50 shows a decrease in billings from AIA member-owned firms.

AIA chief economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, attributes some of the drop to the completion of most federal stimulus projects, the fear of a federal shutdown, and severe weather in the Southeast. He stipulates, however, that “the majority of firms are reporting at least one stalled project in-house because of the continued difficulty in obtaining financing.”

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