Interior Design Billings and Inquiries Indexes
Interior design firms experienced softer revenues in August as the ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) slipped to a score of 50 from a score of 52.9 in July, indicating that firms have not experienced billings growth from the previous month. The IDBI index on a three month moving average is at 53.1 and remains above the key threshold of 50. A score above 50 represents industry expansion, while a reading of less than 50 implies a contraction. August’s score of 50 is five points below the August 2015 score, suggesting some further moderation can be expected.
While the monthly billings index score decreased, opportunities for future work appear to be plentiful as firms continue to report strong inquiries from potential clients. The business inquiries index increased from 58.8 in July to 59.2 in August. The six-month outlook index remained essentially unchanged at 60.3, indicating that survey panelists remain optimistic about future business conditions. Nationwide, design firms posted readings above 50, with the exception of the western region.
The Census Bureau reported that construction spending in July posted a small gain, holding steady near June's level. Private residential and nonresidential spending both increased, while public residential spending rose and nonresidential spending decreased. The Dodge Momentum Index rose 0.5% in July, from an upwardly revised June reading. The index indicated broad-based gains for commercial sectors.
This month’s special question asked our survey panelists how lead times have changed compared to a year ago. Nearly half of the firms reported that lead times were an important factor affecting product selection; 2% said that lead time was the most important factor; 38% saw lead time as a moderate factor; and 11% indicated it had little impact.
36% of panelists indicated that lead times had not changed in the past year; 51% noted that lead times were somewhat longer or much longer than a year ago; and 14% experienced shorter lead times.
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