COVID-19 Creates Dramatic Swings for Interior Design Industry
While June’s Interior Design Billing Index (IDBI) of 49.2 still remains in contractionary territory, it did add 7.9 points to May’s performance of 42.3 (any score above 50 represents expansion and below 50 represents contraction in billings). With a 30-point gain since April’s all-time IDBI survey low of 18.7, a recovery appears to be underway for the industry and profession. The IDBI’s three-month moving average index, however, remains burdened at 36.7, largely reflecting the after-effects of the shutdown of the economy in April due to the extensive outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). June’s Inquiries Index moved into expansion territory from 49.1 in May to 52.3 for June, signaling positive future opportunities for interior design firms. The three-month moving average for Inquires rose to 41.6 in June, again carrying the effects of the previously mentioned economic shutdown.
Reported as three-month moving averages, all regions remain soft and in contractionary territory for June but have started to inch upward. Indexes rose for all regions: Midwest (35.4), South (33.1), Northeast (23.2), and West (33.8); while Northeast firms still remain near all-time lows even with this slightly improvement.
Over the next six months, panelists downgraded its appraisal of business conditions, decreasing the outlook index by 1.9 points to 54.4 for June; even with this drop, it is still a positive assessment regarding the second half of 2020 since it is a reading above 50.