Interior Design Billings and Inquiries Indexes

Read the Interior Design Billings Index Snapshot

Interior Design Billings Shifts Into High Gear

After a challenging first quarter, the economy is on track and poised to grow. May’s preliminary consumer sentiment reading from the University of Michigan soared, and the recent increase in construction spending and retail sales are all positive signs that the weak momentum over the last six-months should prove to be temporary. 

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) remained unchanged with a slight dip of 0.8 points from March to a score of 59.6 in April, but slipped below its three-month moving average of 61.3. This indicates an expanding pace of design industry business, but at a slower pace compared to the last quarter. On the other hand, an improvement in potential business was evident as the inquiries index inched up from 58.5 to 61.2, matching its three-month moving average. IDBI scores above 50 represent expansion in the industry, while scores below 50 denote contraction.  Interior Design Billings showing positive signs for Q2

Business activity in all regions remained at expansionary levels with positive scores of 50 or more, but economic activity, as represented by regional billing scores, was uneven. Firms in the South and West registered month to month increases, while the Midwest and East downshifted slightly. Panelists retain a rather positive outlook as the as the six-month expectations outlook index remains at 61.8, essentially unchanged from March’s score. 

This month’s special survey questions asked panelists for their insights on hiring. Key findings include:

- Thirty-one percent have hired or expect to hire additional employees in 2016.

- Firms in the South are hiring more than their fair share of employees.

- 20 of 28 firms said it is difficult or very difficult to find design talent from the pool of potential new employees.

- Hiring appears to depend upon the interior designers’ outlook on business conditions.

Of those forecasting conditions to be better than they are now, 33 percent have hired or plan on hiring.

- In contrast, those believing conditions will worsen are hiring less. Still, 22 percent are hiring, even with a negative outlook. This may suggest replacement hiring or churn within the industry.

- Larger firms are gearing up or plan to gear up.

- Eight-six percent of firms with 10-24 employees have hired or plan to hire.

Sixty-seven percent of firms with more than 25 employees have hired or plan on hiring as well.

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