Optimistic Economic Outlook for Interior Design Firms: Small Firm and Regional Gains Help Push Positive Q1 for 2015

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The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) reports improved billings over year-end 2014 and an increased number of inquiries contributed to an optimistic economic outlook for U.S. interior design firms at the end of 1st quarter 2015.

American Society of Interior Designers

ASID

Since November 2014, new interior design jobs have been on the rise reinforcing the “good health” of the industry and its impact on the economy

Improved billings over year-end 2014 and an increased number of inquiries contributed to an optimistic economic outlook for U.S. interior design firms at the end of 1st quarter 2015. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) registered 57.7 at the end of March, compared to 52.3 in December 2014. New project inquiries registered 58.8 at the end of the first quarter, rising two points over December.

Small firms lead improvement
Sole-practitioner firms posted a gain from 48 to 52.6 over the year’s first quarter, but small firms with two to nine employees reported the highest billings at 63.2.

Geographically, firms in the West experienced a turnaround, surging from 48.5 to 65 over the quarter. Although they experienced a slight decline, Midwest firms ended at 60.5; firms in the South increased to 57. The Northeast, however, continued its downtrend, falling from a billings score of 44 to 40.

Commercial sector still struggling
It was a positive first quarter for design firms specializing in single-family residential projects. That market sector ended the quarter with a two-point increase to 56, while firms specializing in multi-family projects dropped to 47.

In the commercial sectors, the office, hospitality, entertainment, and retail segments registered sub-50 IDBI scores. In the institutional sector, the healthcare and government markets experienced declines but maintained scores above 50. Education dipped to an index score of 33.

Forecast suggests stronger business conditions
Looking forward, the design industry’s six-month business conditions index of 73 suggests continued expansion for the interior design industry. When taken together, the ASID six-month interior design

business conditions index, the Conference Board’s expectations index, and the Dodge Momentum Index signal that the design and construction industries should achieve increased activity through at least early 2016.

“The ASID IDBI has had a strong uptick (above 50 score) for the last year and we anticipate that score to continue through the second quarter,” said Jack Kleinhenz, ASID economist. “Not only is this resulting in increased inquiries and billings for interior design practitioners, but also in new jobs. Since November 2014, new interior design jobs have been on the rise reinforcing the “good health” of the industry and its impact on the economy.”

For a complete copy of the ASID Q1 IDBI Report or to schedule interviews, contact Julie McCrary at jmccrary(at)whitegood(dot)com or 717.278.0515.

About the ASID Interior Design Billings Index
The IDBI is produced by ASID Research, under the leadership of ASID Vice President of Research and Knowledge Management David Krantz in partnership with Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D., and Russ Smith, Ph.D., both of Kleinhenz & Associates. The index, which was begun in November 2010, is a diffusion index compiled from a monthly ASID survey of 300 geographically diverse firms that primarily offer interior design services or offer interior design services as part of architectural, engineering, and other related practices. Resulting perspectives on current and future business conditions for the interior design industry are helpful indicators of changes in the direction of economic activity. The ASID indices are centered on 50 percent (above 50 indicates expansion and below 50 contraction).

About ASID Research
ASID Research provides the design industry with regular data, studies, and reports offering insight and analysis on the state of the industry and practice. Established to educate the design industry on the status of its health and the impact of design on the way we work, live and play, ASID Research offers quantitative and qualitative knowledge of the industry. Our goal is to provide observations, vision, and compilations that inspire and inform. Outcomes include the monthly ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI), the ASID Industry Outlook report, third-party collaborations, and educational grants.

About ASID
The American Society of Interior Designers believes that design transforms lives. ASID serves the full range of the interior design profession and practice through the Society’s programs, networks, and advocacy. We thrive on the strength of cross-functional and interdisciplinary relationships among designers of all specialties, including workplace, healthcare, retail and hospitality, education, institutional, and residential. We lead interior designers in shared conversations around topics that matter: from evidence-based and human-centric design to social responsibility, well-being, and sustainability. We showcase the impact of design on the human experience and the value interior designers provide.

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Julie McCrary
White Good
+1 (717) 278-0515
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