Interior Design Billings and Inquiries Indexes
Interior Design Billings Dip in December
After looking relatively strong throughout 2015, interior design services weakened in December. The Interior Design Billings Index score dropped from 59.4 in November to 45.3 in December, reflecting reduced industry activity. This backsliding could also be seen in new project inquiries, as that index dipped from 57.2 to 45.8. It’s not a cause for worry, though, as the readings may reflect seasonal factors—in four out of the last five years, December readings showed declines from November.
In spite of the December drop, 66 percent of the respondents reported that billings remained about the same and 50 percent reported that inquiries were about the same. An encouraging sign that the downturn might be temporary is that the six-month expectations outlook index remains very high, with an index of 67.4.
Against this backdrop, U.S. economic growth appears to have slowed in the final months of 2015. While there have been mixed signals in recent economic reports, economic activity continues to expand. Key economic indicators for the U.S. (inflation, income, and housing) remain fairly solid, which supports increased employment and spending.
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