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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.

January 2010 survey of the US Office furniture industry

Wednesday 27 January 2010

The January 2010 Mike Dunlap survey of the US office furniture industry trends which measures and quantifies the performance of the Office Furniture Industry has just been published. It presents a series of contradictions.

• Gross Shipments have improved, but Order Backlog has declined.

• Employment is steady while Hours Worked has increased above 50.0 for the first time since October 2008.

• Capital Expenditure and Tooling Expenditure declined significantly in the 4th Quarter of 2009.

• New Product Development has increased significantly.

• Raw Material Costs and Employee Costs have risen significantly, but not to alarming levels.

• The Personal Outlook Index remains below 50.0, but with little change from the October 2009 Survey.

The largest perceived threats to the industry’s success are the economic issues and the global decline in demand for furniture. Price reductions, energy costs, healthcare costs, imports, and overcapacity, and taxes are most frequently cited.
Smaller manufacturers (under $50.0 Million in Annual Sales) appear to be performing somewhat better against the larger (over $500.0 Million) in regards to sales and tend to be more optimistic.
Survey Respondents do not agree with the Global Insight / BIFMA International forecast that shipments in 2010 will decline by 4.6% compared to 2009. 42.6% Respondents predict in increase by 0.1% to 5.0% Only 21.3% of the respondents predict a decline in 2010..
Economic recovery in this industry will be slow and long. We remain optimistic that the industry has “bottomed out” and that we expect modest recovery through 2010 and into 2011.

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+44 (0) 20 7670 1510