The AIGA Design Leaders Confidence Index for the fourth quarter of 2009 reflects strong confidence in an economic recovery. The index held at 98, up from 51 in October 2008 and consistent with designers’ attitudes during the period 2005–2007. Founded in 1914, AIGA is a professional association for design, representing more than 20,000 design professionals through 64 chapters and 200 student groups. AIGA anticipates that the real measure of the state of the design economy is likely to come in the first quarter of 2010, as designers experience the effects of corporate budgets that were determined during a weakened economy. However, only 6 percent of the design leaders surveyed last month expected business over the next six months to be worse than current business levels. Nearly a third of respondents (29 percent) believe they will be more likely to hire new designers in this quarter than last; only 18 percent felt they were less likely to hire new designers. And 44 percent felt their plans of purchasing new hardware and software had increased compared with three months ago.
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