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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.

Outlook: US office furniture industry will grow again in a year

Monday 22 February 2010

The US office furniture industry should return to sales growth again in a year, after posting a further — albeit much more moderate — decline in 2010.

The newest outlook from the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association projects a 3.8 percent decline in North American shipments this year, to $7.55 billion.

Quarterly shipment declines will steadily ease throughout the year before growth returns in the first quarter of 2011, according to the updated outlook from the Grand Rapids-based BIFMA, prepared by Global Insight.
The outlook projects what BIFMA Executive Director Tom Reardon calls a “fairly healthy” 7.4 percent rebound in shipments in 2011, to $8.08 billion, halting the decline that began in late 2008.

When complete, the downturn will have cost the industry nearly $4 billion in annual shipments in North America, or more than one-third of 2008’s sales volume.

“That turnaround can’t come soon enough,” Reardon said. “We’re going to be bouncing along in this bottom for four quarters, but now there’s light at the end of the tunnel. We have something to look forward to.”

The office furniture industry finished 2009 with North American shipments of $7.84 billion, according to BIFMA, down 29.7 percent from the $11.16 billion of 2008.

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