Originally published in the January 13, 2014 issue of Furniture Today
Furniture and bedding sales picked up the pace in the last few months of 2013 and that momentum is expected to carry over into this year with better although still modest growth, according to Furniture/Today's new consensus economic forecast for the industry. U.S. consumption of furniture and bedding, the broadest measure of retail sales, is expected to increase 3.5% this year to $98 billion ?? not a big gain, but better than the industry's estimated 1% growth last year. Supporting the modest gains will be upticks in the economy, the housing market and the employment picture, according to the forecast. This exclusive report includes 2013 estimates and 2014 projections for Consumer spending on furniture and bedding; Housing starts; Existing home sales; New home sales; Mortgage rates; Real gross domestic product; Consumer price index; Unemployment; Personal disposable income and Prime interest rates.
Data for the forecast came from Jerry Epperson; Mann, Armistead & Epperson; Ken Smith, Smith Leonard; Association for Financial Professionals; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Fannie Mae Economics and Mortgage Market Analysis; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, The Livingston Survey; Federal Reserve; Freddie Mac; International Monetary Fund; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Association of Home Builders; National Association of Realtors; Raymond James; RBC; TD Economics; The Conference Board; PNC Financial Services Group; University of Michigan, Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics (RSQE); Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA); U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Commerce; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Wall Street Journal and Wells Fargo. Furniture/Today's 2014 Economic Outlook Survey was compiled by Furniture/Today's market research team, led by Dana French, Director of Research and Stephanie Nickell, Research Analyst.
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