Global furniture exports to grow by 4% in 2013
The imports/consumption ratio for the 70 most important countries increased rapidly in the years preceding the 2009 recession, and has now stabilized at a level a little below 30%. Import penetration is extremely uneven, with very low values in emerging countries (2% in China, 5% in Brazil, 6% in India) and varying values in the main higher income countries (ranging from 16% in Italy to 36% in the U.S. and to around 50% in Germany, the U.K. and France). International trade of furniture is large, and constitutes about 1% of total international trade of manufactures. It grew rapidly until 2008 (reaching US$ 117 billion), dropped by 19% in 2009 and has now recovered to the pre-recession level. A 4% growth in current US dollars is expected in 2013. Emerging economies will grow faster than advanced countries in the next few years. In 2013 growth of furniture demand will be strong in Asia and South America and modest in North America, while virtual stagnation will continue in Europe with the exception of Eastern Europe. The expected growth of import penetration in emerging countries in a period of increasing demand will offer interesting opportunities to furniture exporters.