Imports of Household Furniture by Broad Product
In Selected Years 2002 to 2017
In 2017, imports of household furniture rose 10.7 percent compared to only 3.8 percent growth in retail sales. The Great Recession, 2007 to 2009, brought with it a major collapse in international trade – deeply affecting both imports and exports of household furniture. In recent years, growing wages, higher employment, a boost in consumer confidence and a healthy housing market have propelled import growth. Meanwhile, exports have struggled to maintain the initial post-recession climb. This is the third in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.
Major Furniture Imports by Material Type
Wood furniture imports have always been king but are now feeling the pressure from upholstery and metal. It has only been in the past two years that wood imports surpassed pre-recession import levels. But at $11.8 billion in 2017, wood products are still the largest material category among furniture import but have receded to 38.5 percent of total furniture imports in 2017 – down from 56.5 percent in 2002. Conversely both upholstery and metal have been increasing at a high rate, and combined, now account for almost 50 percent (49.2 percent).
Purchases of upholstery and metal household furniture from around the world have increased more than 68 percent since 2007. Although it is the smallest imported product category, bedding has catapulted since 2002 – increasing over 2,000 percent. Reaching $1 billion in 2017, imports of mattresses have grown 51.8 percent in just a year. Much of this increase can be attributed to adjustable bed bases and mattresses of cellular rubber or plastics.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade