After posting a two-year high in March (61.0), the Interior Design Billing Index (IDBI) declined for the second consecutive month in May. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) reported the May IDBI score was at 53.8, down from a score of 55.3 in April. This score reflects a slight deceleration in design services provided by U.S. interior design firms. The industry remains in expansionary territory as any score about 50 indicates an increase in billings. The three-month moving average showed an upswing over the last few months recording an index of 56.7 in May. The new projects inquiry index was 53.3, down from a reading of 64.6 in April, while the three-month moving average held steady at 58.4. This outlook is consistent with our panelist’s six-month outlook score of 53.3.
“All regions indicate stability industry-wide and remain healthy,” said economist Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D. The regional categories are calculated as a three-month moving average with the Midwest region leading the pack with a score of 62.7 in May, up from 59.9, while the Northeast recorded a strong score of 57.8, up from 57.3. The South region’s score increased to 54.5 in May from 51.9 in April, and firms in the West were essentially unchanged with a score of 52.5 in May compared to 52.8 in April.
This month’s bonus questions asked our survey panelists about their tradeshow habits over the last 12 months, including how many they attended and the main reasons for attending. Nearly 70 percent of respondents attended at least one tradeshow in the last 12 months, which is down only slightly from last year when 76 percent, or three out of four respondents, indicated they had attended at least one tradeshow in the preceding 12 months. Thirty percent of respondents report attending two or more trade shows in the past 12 months, a decline from 2018’s score of 42 percent.