ASID Releases Interior Design Billings Index Report for Q3 2016

ASID Releases Interior Design Billings Index Report for Q3 2016

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has released the results of the ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) 3rd Quarter Report. The Index value slipped to a score 54.0 from June's score of 55.9 but remains in expansionary territory. The September index is stronger than its three-month moving average of 52.5, indicating positive momentum and favorable business conditions. Scores above 50 indicate expansion, while scores below 50 indicate industry contraction. The last IDBI score below 50 was recorded in December 2015. The new project inquiry rate increased to a score of 59.2, slightly above its June score of 58.2.

Design firms of all sizes enjoyed a positive billings upturn in the third quarter. Interior design firms in the South, Midwest, and Northeast ended the third quarter on good footing. Firms in the South continued a string of positive growth while firms in the Midwest and Northeast rebounded nearly eight points during the same three-month period. Design firms in the West reported declining billings (IDBI scores of under 50) in the third quarter as the IDBI score dropped 14 points.

Design firms specializing in single-family and multifamily residential sectors have lost some momentum from their high IDBI scores in February and March, recording scores of 55 and 50 for September. Commercial sector interior design firms have rebounded from the disappointing business conditions of the winter months and now report three-month moving average IDBIs of 54 (Commercial) and 53 (Institutional).

The design industry continues to expect favorable future outcomes. The six-month business conditions index score of 59 for September edged higher than the score of 57 reported for June. The consistency of these scores (above 50) over twelve months supports continued expansion for the design industry.

U.S. payroll employment rose by 156,000 in September. The employment expansion is now in its seventh year and consequently, job gains have moderated compared with the last two years. The unemployment rate edged higher to five percent as more workers stepped into the labor force. Architectural services job growth tapered in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period a year ago. Interior design job growth in 2016 shows four of the eight months with year over year decreases in individual employment.

Total construction spending pulled back in the summer months. The slump in spending momentum was evident in residential, nonresidential, and public spending.

"The U.S. economy, with its 2.9 percent increase in economic activity during the third quarter, appears to have pulled out of the weak cycle of growth that began in late 2015 and continued through the second quarter of 2016," commented Jack Kleinhenz, ASID economist. "The economy is expected to build momentum in the consumer and housing sectors. This turnaround is good news and a key factor that supports the positive outlook reported by ASID panelists."


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