The ASID Interior Design Billings Index stayed in positive territory in February after a noticeable uptick in January. Reported billings were the same as in January, 57.4. The Inquiries Index declined only slightly (63.2 vs. 65.9 in January), but was up more than 10 points over the fourth quarter of 2011. The Interior Design Index showed greater improvement than the AIA Billings Index, which also registered positive (51) for the fourth month in a row.
Mixed Conditions Across Industry Sectors
Billings were mixed across industry sectors, with the residential single family reporting the strongest gain, up another point from January. Education, government and hospitality stayed about even. But multi-housing, health care, office and retail all reported declines from the previous month.
Regionally, the South continued to move upward, rising nearly 4 points after posting a 10 point gain in January. After a couple of months of decline, the Midwest also posted a 10 point gain. The Northeast and West reported declines after a bounce back in January.
When asked what national and economic conditions were most affecting clients willingness to start new projects, panelists most often cited lack of consumer confidence in the economy (36%), uncertainty regarding taxes or investments (26%) and the weak housing market (26%).