The ASID Interior Design Billings Index returned to positive territory in January 2012, after a slight dip in the month of December. Billings were up substantially from the end of 2011 (57.4 vs. 49.4). The Inquiries Index rose dramatically (65.9 vs. 52.0), signaling increased interest in future activity. The Interior Design Index showed greater improvement than the AIA Billings Index, which also registered positive (50.9) for the third month in a row.
Improvement Seen Across All Industry Sectors
Billings were up and positive across all industry sectors, with the most gains reported in the commercial arena and government. Residential single family jumped nearly 10 points to 56.9; multihousing was down after a very strong December showing but still positive (56). Government billings rose sharply from 36.44 in December to 55.5 in January. Office showed a similar increase (from 39.8 to 55.5). Healthcare was up 10 points and most other sectors were up 5 to 8 points.
Regionally, the Northeast posted the biggest gain (from 39 to 52). The West continued its rebound, up 10 points, and the South was up 10 points as well. The Midwest declined slightly but remained positive at 50.
Financial Obstacles Still a Problem
When asked what problems were most affecting their business, respondents most frequently cited poor billings, slow payments, ability to secure financing, and unreliable service from vendors as the most pressing problems.