NEW YORK—August 16,
2012. AIGA’s Design Leaders Confidence Index
weakened in the most recent quarter. For the second quarter of 2012, the index slipped
from 104.15 to 94.92—a 9 percent drop. Responses to this quarterly survey of more than 350 design
leaders demonstrate cautious optimism in the design industry. For instance,
roughly 13 percent believe the overall economy is worse now than six months ago
and about 12 percent feel the design economy is worse. Looking ahead, only 8
percent think the economy, in general or in terms of design activity, will be
worse in six months
In terms of hiring, 84 percent feel their likelihood of
hiring additional staff is the same or better than it was six months ago; 89 percent
believe their likelihood of investing in hardware and software is also the same or
The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, which had
improved in the first quarter of this year, decreased in the second quarter.
The Measure now stands at 47, down from 63 last quarter (a reading of more than 50
points reflects more positive than negative responses). Designers remain
considerably more sanguine than business leaders.
According to Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at
The Conference Board, “CEOs began the year quite upbeat, but the lackluster
performance of the economy so far, and expectations of more of the same, have
clearly impacted attitudes. On a positive note, CEOs remain confident profits
will continue to increase, driven primarily by market/demand growth.”
At the consumer level, The Conference Board Consumer
Confidence Index® improved slightly in July. The Index now stands
at 65.9, up from 62.7 in June. The Expectations Index—a subset of the Consumer Confidence survey measuring respondents’ expectations regarding business conditions, employment conditions and total family income—improved to
79.1 from 73.4.
According to Franco, “Despite this month’s improvement
in confidence, the overall Index remains at historically low levels. Consumers’
attitude regarding current conditions was little changed in July, but their
short-term expectations, which had declined last month, bounced back.”
There are also signs that business is beginning to defer
expansion and investment in anticipation that the United States will face a “fiscal cliff” on
December 31, unless Congress can reach an agreement that eliminates tax
increases and budget reductions scheduled to go into effect at that
AIGA is the professional association for design, a nonprofit
organization dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft,
strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA
today serves more than 22,000 members through 66 chapters and 200
student groups throughout the United States. AIGA stimulates
thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and
empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers.
Learn more at aiga.org/about.
For further information, please contact: Jennifer
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 710 3136
Each quarter AIGA conducts the Design Leaders Confidence Index, a survey of design leaders to assemble an authoritative statement on current conditions in the design economy.
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