ASID Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI) August 2021

Billings, Inquiries and Outlook Fall Again, but Still Remain in Growth Mode

  • The summer months continue to experience declines with August being no exception, but even in the face of these drops, the industry maintains positive growth.
    • Billings index* decreased almost five points to 51.6 for August, down more than 17 points from the record-setting month in April (68.8).
      • Even with this decrease, business is still growing as the index records its 14th consecutive month in expansion territory (i.e., above 50).  
      • The three-month moving average (56.0) is higher than its historical median (54.8) for the survey.
    • The three-month moving average for the Midwest (60.0), South (59.8) and West (53.9) remain in positive while the Northeast (47.4) has dipped below 50 for the first time since November 2020.
    • Inquiries index* declined 1.3 points to 54.4, but still growing at a relatively comfortable rate.
      • The three-month moving average has been higher for inquiries than billings for 11 of the last 12 months (November 2020 was the only exception).
    • The six-month outlook for interior design business continues to be more optimistic than billings and inquiries with a reading of 61.3, falling 2.4 points from July.
      • Uncertainty was the predominant sentiment expressed by panelists, but still conveyed hope and resiliency regarding the outlook.
  • When asked how panelists have resolved increases in lead times, over half of the panelists indicated that they have extended project timelines to accommodate this change.  
    • Panelists also stated that they have started the procurement and purchasing processes earlier than previously performed and maintained open and transparent lines of communication with clients.

*Note: Any score above 50 represents expansion (i.e., growth) and below 50 represents contraction (i.e., decline).

Interior Design Billings Index (IDBI)