For the past eight months, business conditions across the interior design industry have continued to improve, according to data from the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Business Performance Index. Both the billing and the industry indexes remained above 50 for eight consecutive months, signaling the industry’s economic expansion.
Despite the promising results, business conditions vary according to sector, region and firm size. Sole practitioners and larger firms of 25 or more employees have experienced growth in billings since April 2011, while firms with two to nine and 10 to 24 employees reported that billings have either stabilized or declined. Interior design firms in the South, West and Northeast had a June billings index score of above 50, indicating growth in billings for those regions. Firms in the Midwest had been consistently above 50 since February 2011 but reported billings decreases in June. The multi-family residential sector and hospitality sector showed a growth in billings for June, while single-family home and other commercial sectors showed decreases.
“While we are seeing modest improvement, rising non-labor costs such as oil and limited construction and employment growth are making for a bumpy road to a stronger recovery across the industry,” said Michael Berens, director of research and knowledge resources for ASID. “Despite these factors, the long-term economic outlook remains positive among the firms surveyed.”
The survey was taken weeks before the recent stock market volatility and layoff announcements in the financial sector. These unforeseen events are not represented in the survey results or in the analysis.