ASID Releases 2017 Interior Design Billings Index 1st Quarter Report

May 18, 2017

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) released the 2017 ASID Interior Design Billings Index 1st Quarter Report during a live webinar on May 16. The data indicate strong economic momentum and sturdy revenue gains for the design industry.

The March ASID IDBI score is 62.8, a clear advantage over December’s value of 52.9. The March index is stronger than its three-month moving average of 59, indicating strong momentum and signaling sturdy revenue gains (score of 50 or above). The new project inquiry rate rose to 58, up from a December score of 53.3.

Design firms of all sizes enjoyed positive billings in March and had scores above their three-month moving average reflecting ongoing business strength. Sole practitioner design firms reported a strong March IDBI score of 60.9, higher than any scores from the previous 12 months. Firms with two to nine employees reported an even stronger score of 63.8. Design firms across all regions showed billing growth relative to low January scores suggesting business conditions strengthened. Scores ranged from 59 in the West to 66 in the Northeast.

Billings for design firms specializing in single-family and multifamily residential sectors have gained since December, posting scores of 63 and 56. Commercial sector interior designers reported no change in billings from February to March. Those serving the Institutional sector reported a decline in billings over the month with a score of 40.

“Recent data indicate the economy cooled a bit more than expected in the first quarter,” said Jack Kleinhenz, ASID economist. “No single factor dominated this year’s slower start. While recent consumer and business spending are at odds with elevated confidence measures, we expect a pick-up in spending in the coming months and ASID indicators point in this direction.”

The ASID six-month interior design business conditions index, the Conference Board’s expectations index and the Dodge Momentum Index reflect an improving broader economy and that spending for design services should continue over the next six months. Looking forward, the design industry remains optimistic about the near term outlook for business conditions. The six-month business conditions index score of 63.4 for March was virtually unchanged from the December score of 63.6 and markedly higher than September (59) and June (57) scores.

The webinar recording is available here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1954303136245151747