Design industry remains positive about near term outlook

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) released the Second Quarter Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) on August 26, 2015. The June IDBI value of 57.1 indicated that billings remain essentially unchanged from their first quarter score of 57.7 in March. The June New Product Inquiry rate of 58.3 was slightly down from the March value of 58.8. While unexpected, the lower reading may reflect some payback from the strong May readings. However, the index has remained above 50 – the baseline score indicating growth – for 12 consecutive months.

Across the board, all firm sizes showed improvement and all sectors, except for education, reported increased IDBI scores, suggesting a market-wide increase in billings for the second quarter.

Business conditions vary across regions The South and Midwest regions have reported IDBI scores greater than 55 since February, indicating a sustained growth in billings. Northeast firms rose above 50 in both May and June, while firms in the West fell from a May IDBI of 68 to a June score of 50.

Construction spending continues to surge Construction spending rose 0.8 percent in May – a much stronger rise than the analyst’s consensus for an increase of 0.4 percent. Overall, construction spending in May was the highest since October 2008.

Six month outlook – stronger business conditions expected The six-month business conditions index score of 74 fat the end of the second quarter remains essentially unchanged from the first quarter score of 73 and slightly better than the 2014 fourth quarter score of 69.9. The consistency of these scores suggests ongoing, continued expansion for the design industry.

“For the most part, the construction and housing sectors are reporting significant improvement in the second quarter,” said Jack Kleinhenz, ASID economist. “The design industry has aptly bobbed and weaved through varied business conditions and has responded with steady improvement in payrolls and revenues. Looking forward, the design industry remains positive about the near term outlook.”

Download the full Second Quarter ASID Interior Design Billings Index Report.