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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Office Furniture: Cliff Diving

by Calculated Risk on 3/03/2009 08:32:00 PM

From Reuters: U.S. office furniture orders, shipments plunge in January

U.S. office furniture orders and shipments fell about 25 percent in January, reflecting the biggest year-over-year percentage declines since the 2001-02 recession, a trade group said.

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association said January orders fell 25 percent to $565 million and shipments fell 26 percent to $630 million.

BIFMA also lowered its 2009 forecast for orders to a decline of 26.5 percent, compared with its prior estimate of a drop of 11.6 percent.
Office Furniture Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the actual consumption of office furniture in the U.S. (including imports) and the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association forecast for 2009.

The slump in the office market - with rapidly rising office vacancies - is having a secondary impact on office suppliers. This is similar to what happened to the home furnishing bust over the last few years because of the bursting of the housing bubble. Based on this forecast, the U.S. office furniture market will probably be back to the 1994 to 1995 level.