The ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) is in expansion territory with an October IDBI score of 50, slightly up from September’s score of 49.2. A score above 50 indicates an increase in billings; however, the index’s three-month moving average of 50.8 is modestly lower than September’s score of 53.5. The new projects inquiry index was 52.4, a drop from September’s score of 55.4, yet still signals growth in design services in the coming months. The new projects index’s October score was 52.1.
Firms in the Midwest posted a strong three-month moving average of 55.0 in October, lengthening their eight-month streak of above-50 scores. Showing positive business conditions for more than a year, Southern interior design firms reported an October score of 51.5, but for Northeast and Western firms, three-month moving average scores of 48.5 and 46.5 in October indicate struggling sales for those regions. Optimism appears to be improving about future business conditions as the panel’s six-month outlook index was 58.7, a full 4.1 points higher than reported for September.
This month’s special questions asked our survey panelists, “How interested are clients in healthy materials,” and, “Has the healthy materials market changed in the past year?” Of respondents, 67 percent report that clients have an interest in healthy materials. Only eight percent reported clients as very interested, and 25 percent said clients were not interested. Of respondents, approximately 60 percent believe that more healthy material options have become available over the past year.
One half of respondents feel that certifications and labels are the most helpful to them when specifying healthy materials. One-third believe that knowing the chemistry make-up of materials is most helpful, while 20 percent indicate that price and lifecycle information would be most helpful.