Interior Design Billings and Inquiries Indexes
Interior Design Billings Shifts Into High Gear
After its brief decline in December, the Interior Design Billing Index (IDBI) rebounded in January to 53.6, then shifted into an even higher gear in February (63.4). Firms also continued to report strong inquiries for new projects. Both January and February had inquiries indexes of 62.3, which points to solid business conditions for the design industry. This improved overall performance in business activity is evident across all regions, where IDBI scores all returned into positive territory (Midwest: 53.3; Northeast: 63.6; South: 56.8; West: 70.0).
This month’s special question asked panelists “How many hours did you work per week on average last year?” Across all respondents, the average work week was 46.16 hours last year. Since many designers are independent firms and require success to log more work hours, the survey results might suggest that improving business conditions required additional time and effort to keep up with demand.
Against this backdrop, U.S. economic growth appears to have slowed in the final months of 2015. While there have been mixed signals in recent economic reports, economic activity continues to expand. Key economic indicators for the U.S. (inflation, income, and housing) remain fairly solid, which supports increased employment and spending.
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