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A business consultancy, based in London, England, John Sacks' JSA Consultancy Services provides expert, in-depth, information advice and guidance as to how to exploit successfully the office furniture and interiors markets in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.

BIFMA forecast US market downturn

Wednesday 2 July 2008

U.S. office furniture orders rose 2 percent in May compared with a year earlier, to $990 million, but a slump is likely later this year, a trade group said on Tuesday.

The Business and Institutional Manufacturers Association said May shipments rose 1 percent to $945 million.

For the year to date, orders are up 1 percent and shipments are flat, it said.

But the trade group said it expects full-year orders and shipments to fall 4.7 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

\"The industry\'s primary macroeconomic drivers are either negative (business confidence, corporate profits) or deteriorating (service sector employment, new office construction),\" Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch wrote in a note to clients commenting on the BIFMA data.

Rising commodity costs are also pressuring margins, forcing manufacturers to raise prices in the face of soft demand, Bugatch said.

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