As a member of the AIGA I receive the results of a variety of surveys, this one is a positive one. Contrasting broader economic trends, the design industry confidence rises:
AIGA’s Design Leaders Confidence Index increased slightly to 98.99 from 96.13 in the third quarter of 2010, consistent with levels in October 2009 when it rose to 99.01. In rating the current design economy as compared to six months ago, 42.7 percent of the design leaders surveyed believed it was better; 47.2 percent about the same; and only 10.1 percent rated it as worse.
This relative optimism defies the broader trends in the economy. The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which was unchanged in the second quarter of 2010, declined in the third quarter. The measure now reads 50, down from 62 last quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). Less than one third of respondents say conditions have improved compared to six months ago.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly in October, now standing at 50.2, up from 48.6 in September. The Present Situation Index increased to 23.9 from 23.3. The Expectations Index improved to 67.8 from 65.5.
Looking ahead in the design economy
Of surveyed design leaders, 57.9 percent estimated that the economy will be better six months from now; 36.8 percent expected it to be the same; and only 5.3 percent believed it would be worse. Only 15.6 percent believed the chances of hiring staff were worse now than on July 1, 2010; only 13.8 percent believed they were less likely to purchase hardware or software than three months ago.
The next Design Leaders Confidence Index survey will be conducted in mid-January 2011.