The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is reporting today that architecture firm billings rose for the seventh consecutive month, with the pace of growth in April increasing modestly from March. Overall, the AIA's Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for April was 52.0 (any score over 50 is billings growth), which indicates the business environment continues to be healthy for architecture firms despite continued labor shortages, growing inflation in building materials costs and rising interest rates. The ABI also revealed that business conditions remained strong at firms located in the West, while billings softened slightly at Midwest firms. "While there was slower growth in April for new project work coming into architecture firms, business conditions have remained healthy for the first four months of the year," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "Although growth in regional design activity was concentrated at firms in the sunbelt, there was balanced growth so far this year across all major construction sectors." The following are the key April ABI highlights: • Regional averages: West (55.1), Midwest (49.6), South (51.8), Northeast (50.3) • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (50.7), institutional (52.0), commercial/industrial (52.7), mixed practice (50.6) • Project inquiries index: 56.7 • Design contracts index: 50.1 The regional and sector categories above are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts, and inquiries are monthly numbers.