The growth of billings at ASID interior design firms slowed modestly in April from scores of 60.8 in March, to 55.0 in April, but remains in expansionary territory (any score above 50 signifies growth). This is the best back-to-back monthly performance exceeding 50 since November 2018. The three-month moving average score for April increased from 50.9 to 54.0 which is an accelerating trend of growth.
The six-month outlook based on interior design firm Inquiries is very positive. April’s score of 64.4 was the highest since April 2015, while the three-month moving average score for inquiries was 59.2, the best since July 2017. This outlook is consistent with panelists’ six-month outlook score of 59.2.
Interior designers in all regions reported improvement in April with scores above 50 and exceeding March scores. Regional averages were recorded in the Midwest (59.3), South (51.4), West (53.7), and Northeast (57.9).
This month’s bonus question asked our survey panelists about their recent hiring activities. Overall, hiring remains a challenge as reported by design firms seeking to increase staff in 2019. The struggle decreased slightly this year, with 50 percent of designers saying it was either difficult or very difficult to find talent. However, for those respondents who found it easy or very easy to find talent, the hiring situation did improve to 33 percent compared to only 10 percent in 2018. This may speak to the generally low unemployment rate found across the United States at this time.