The August 2011 ASID Interior Design Billings & Inquiries Survey indicates that business conditions for the interior design industry mirror the broader U.S. economy, remaining in a stall mode.
The Inquiry Index fell below 50 for the first time since last November, signaling a contraction underway in the industry. The more immediate business activity indicator, the Billings Index, remained below 50 for the second month in a row but showed an increase of 3 index points from 45.1 to 48.6. The uptick in the billings index correlates with the positive August report from the AIA, which was something of a surprise.
Activity was mixed across the industry sectors, with hospitality and residential – single home showing the most substantial increases. Business picked up for sole practitioners but remained flat for other firm types.
When asked what conditions are having the greatest impact on whether or not clients or potential clients are contacting them, panelists cited a lack of consumer confidence in the economy as number one, with public confidence in national leadership a distant second.