Presents the new “World Furniture Outlook 2021”
Once again, the Centre for Industrial Studies (CSIL) has analyzed the global world of furniture and summarized it as a report, the “World Furniture Outlook 2021”:
2020 has been a challenging year for the furniture sector, hit by the pandemic both on the demand and supply side. The lockdown policies and their length varied across countries, segments of production and retail activities. World furniture consumption is estimated to decrease by 10% in 2020 (in current US$). For the first time, all regions are projected to experience negative growth in 2020, with differences across countries, reflecting different economic structure (dependence on severely affected sectors, on external financial flows and pre-crisis performances) and containment reactions facing the pandemic evolution.
Some trends that were already present across the sector have been accelerating during the year, impacting companies’ strategies. On the consumption side, the role of the online channel increased at unprecedented growth rates, with also leading manufacturers entering the market directly.
On the production side, supplied products, for example great changes in the office spaces, rising in the home office segment, multi-functionality, antibacterial surfaces, increasing attention of consumers wellbeing etc., are evolving. They could represent growth potential for the future.
The main furniture producer is China, with 41% of world furniture production. Other major furniture manufacturing countries are the United States, Germany and Italy. From 2011 to 2020 furniture production share of Asia and Pacific increased by about 11 percentage points. As a consequence, in 2020, more than half of world furniture production took place in Asia and the Pacific.
The leading importers of furniture are the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Until 2018 the increase in imports in the US was the main engine of growth in international trade of furniture. The decrease in US furniture imports in 2019 was mainly due to trade restrictions. Because of trade tensions between the US and China, within the total US furniture imports from Asia, the share of China decreased in favour, in particular, of imports from Vietnam. Preliminary data for 2020 show substantial decreases in furniture imports for all major countries.
The main furniture exporting country is China, followed at a distance by Vietnam, Poland, Germany and Italy. In the last ten years, the international trade of furniture has consistently amounted to about 1% of international trade of manufactures. After the major contraction in 2020, growth will resume in 2021 and the pre-crisis level, in current US$, is expected to be attained in 2022. CSIL report assumes that the international scenario will be as follows: The annual percentage change in real terms could be 5,2% in the worls for 2021 and 4,2% in 2022. Advanced Economies might have 3,9% in the next year and 2,9% in 2022. Emerging and developing Economies will have a change from 6,1% in 2021 to 5,1% in 2022.
According to the International Monetary Fund, the decrease of World GDP due to the pandemic in 2020 can be estimated at 4.4%, with a more severe contraction in advanced economies than in developing countries. Growth is expected to resume in 2021 and 2022, but uncertainties regarding the evolution of the pandemic remain high, and downside risks remain significant. For the year 2021 growth of furniture consumption above the depressed levels of 2020 is expected worldwide. Among large markets (over US$ 5 billion of furniture consumption) the countries expected to have a greater rebound in furniture consumption growth are China and India.