Interior Design Billings and Inquiries Indexes

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Interior Design Billings Remains Solid

The June ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) continues to indicate moderate business conditions for the design industry. According to the most recent survey in June 2016, the IDBI nudged up to a score of 55.9 from a score of 54.4 in May. Business inquiries remained essentially unchanged with a score of 58.2. Scores above 50 denote industry expansion, while those below 50 indicate contraction.

The economic fundamentals remain solid as consumer spending and housing continue to lead growth and contribute to the positive design industry performance. Although current business conditions remain favorable, panelists’ expectations deflated in June with the six-month expectations outlook score dipping from 61 in May to 56.4 in June.  

According to the most recent Federal Reserve Beige Book, economic activity expanded modestly across most districts from mid-May through June, but the pace of growth varied in some districts. Firms located in the Midwest and Northeast experienced a decline in billings in June as their regional index scores fell below 50. Alternatively, design industry firms in the South and West posted billings scores of 60 or better, indicating expanded billings.  

Preliminary consumer sentiment readings measured by the University of Michigan in mid-July showed a fall-off in consumer attitudes amid increasing concerns about slowing growth and the upcoming Presidential election.

This month’s special questions asked panelists to analyze how their businesses performed relative to expectations over the first six months of 2016. Slightly less than half, 48 percent, reported that they met expectations, while 25 percent indicated that they exceeded expectations, and 27 percent expressed failure to meet expectations. The unevenness of perspectives is not surprising and is reflective of the weak economic activity in early 2016.  

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