Industry conditions showed signs of improvement at interior design firms in December as the ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) score rebounded to 53.1 (scores over 50 indicate billings growth, scores under 50 indicate billings contraction), following November’s declining billings. Interior design firms had shown steady positive results for seven months prior to the dip in November. The index’s three month moving average of 51.0 was unchanged from November. Firms generally remain optimistic about the future as inquiries into new projects remained relatively stable with a score of 50 and the three-month average score was 53.2. An optimistic outlook is consistent with the six-month expectations index, which rebounded to 57.1 in December after posting a score of 54.9 in November.
The overall encouraging figures were in line with regional conditions calculated as a three-month moving average except for firms in the West, where the score fell to 42.6. The other three regions had stronger numbers for the month of December compared to November: Midwest at 64.6, Northeast at 55.1, and South at 56.8.
This month’s special question asked survey panelists about their firms’ sales outlooks for 2020. The panel was split on the outlook as 47.1 percent expect strong or very strong sales; 47.1 percent indicated a neutral outlook; and 5.7 percent registered a negative outlook. The 2020 outlook is nearly identical to the sales outlook survey results from December 2018.