Interior Design Billings and Inquiries Indexes
Slight IDBI Slip in August
Business conditions at interior design firms saw an unexpected slow down during August as the IDBI index slipped to a score of 53 from a score of 63 in July, indicating that fewer firms have experienced billing growth in August. The pace of design services billings, however, remains in positive territory with a score above 50, as it has for the last 32 consecutive months. A score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings. While the monthly index has slipped, opportunities for future work appear to be plentiful as firms continue to report strong inquiries. Design firms in each region, with the exception of the west, report increases in firm billings.
The Census Bureau reported that July’s construction spending exhibited the fastest year-over-year growth rate since March 2006. The accelerated pace of activity was reported for residential, private non-residential, and public construction spending. This confirms what design firms have experienced since early 2015.
August’s special question asked our survey panelists how lead times have changed compared to a year ago. Slightly more than half of the firms reported that lead times were somewhat longer or much longer than a year ago, while one third reported no change, and 12 percent reported shorter lead times.
Fifty-one percent of respondents indicated that lead time is an important factor in product selection, 4 percent reported that it is the most important factor, 35 percent see it as a moderate factor, and 8 percent indicated it had little impact.
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