The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Interior Design Billings Index showed a gradual increase in the third quarter of 2012. ASID firms reported positive growth in billings, posting an Index score of 55.3 for September, compared to 51.4 in July and 53.4 in August. The Inquiry Index also rose from 58.8 in August to 59.5 in September.
The single-family home market has experienced a steady increase, reporting a score of greater than 50 for each of the last nine months. Conversely, the office, retail, entertainment, and hospitality sectors have shown declines, reporting scores of less than 50 for the past quarter. Although institutional billings earlier in the year appeared to be healthy across all sectors, recent monthly scores of below 50 indicate that revenues have fallen off.
The strongest billing scores are from small firms with nine or fewer employees, with sole practitioners reporting a five-point increase over August. Firms with greater than nine employees are reporting no change in billings.
According to ASID economist Jack Kleinhenz, both the short- and long-term outlook for the next six months appears positive, although growth is expected to be modest.
"While it is encouraging that economic growth has picked up in the third quarter, I remain cautious on the U.S. outlook until there is more clarity on outstanding fiscal issues," Kleinhenz commented. "I expect GDP growth to remain rather modest in the fourth quarter."
Sector and Regional Index Averages
Residential: 52, Commercial: 40, Institutional: 48
Midwest: 52: Northeast: 55, South: 57, West: 50
The pace of strong revenue gains continues for all regions on a year-to-date basis. Since January 2012, the Midwest, South and West regions have reported monthly billing increases. The Northeast has gained points in each of the past two months.