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Factoids

Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

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Factoids

Major Furniture Imports by Material Type 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 fourth in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

Wood Household Furniture

Wood household furniture imports totaled $11.8 billion in 2017 and are up 9 percent over the previous year. At a 38 percent share of wood furniture imports in 2017, China still owns the wood category at $4.5 billion, but has lost significant share to Vietnam. Vietnam has grown from less than 1 percent of wood furniture imports to over 25 percent from 2002 to 2017. Canada, once a major player in wood furniture, has fallen to only 6.7 percent of the total. Malaysia and Indonesia continue their steady wood niches but control less than 6 percent of wood imports each.

Upholstered Household Furniture

Unlike the wood category, China has very little competition in upholstered goods in the international marketplace. Although not producing as high a market share, Vietnam has also made great strides in upholstery – growing from $7 million in 2002 to $700 million in 2017 and having a one year increase of 51.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. Once a major player, Italy was the leading exporter of upholstery to the U.S. until 2003 when China surpassed them. Once importing 28 percent of upholstered furniture, now the U.S. imports only 3 percent from Italy.

Metal Household Furniture

Even more so than upholstery, China dominates the market in imported metal household furniture with 75 percent market share. China increased from $1.7 billion in 2002 to $5.6 billion in 2017 – a jump of 225 percent in 15 years. While imports from Canada have grown since the bottom of the recession in 2009, it continues to lose market share to China. Imports from both Mexico and Taiwan have decreased since 2015, but Vietnam has maintained an annual average increase of 38 percent.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

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

U.S. Furniture Imports by Country 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 second in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

Over 200 countries export furniture into the U.S. but only nine represent over 90 percent of the total value coming into this country. China’s furniture exports alone have grown to roughly 60 percent of total U.S. imports – up 19.3 percentage points from 2002 to 2017. China has retained its hold on U.S. Imports through the recession. Since the peak of the recession in 2009, the value of imports from China has grown 98.8 percent to $18 billion.

Reversing dramatically over the previous decade, Canada’s decline alongside Vietnam’s rise still continues from 2009 to 2017. Vietnam has jumped from 0.5 percent of total U.S. imports in 2002 to 13 percent in 2017, while Canada has plummeted from 18.3 percent to 5.6 percent in the same 15 year period. Canada’s value of imported furniture fell 30.4 percent 2002 to 2017. Mexico has lessened its share of U.S. imports slightly since 2015 – down 0.6 percentage points to 4.5 percent in 2017, but the value of imports has increased by 3 percent to $1.4 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

Furniture Import Growth Almost Triple over Retail Sales 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 first in a series of five factoids detailing U.S. imports and exports from 2002 to 2017.

In 2017 the U.S. ran a $569 billion dollar trade deficit in all goods and services. Household furniture products at $30.7 billion in imports versus only $3.2 billion in exports represented only 3.4 percent of that deficit. Most astonishing, however, is that for all U.S. goods, the ratio of imports to exports was 1.5 while the ratio for furniture products was 9.7, almost 10 to 1.

World dollar totals of household furniture imports have nearly doubled from $15.58 billion in 2009 to $30.74 billion in 2017 – increasing an average of nine percent a year. Already just a fraction of U.S imports, U.S. exports of household furniture have failed to continue the upswing experienced from 2009 to 2015 when it jumped over $1 billion. Over the last two years (2015 to 2017) exports have declined by -7.1 percent down to $3.15 billion.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade

Industry Sales by Quarter 2011 Q2 to 2018 Q2 Bedding Industry

The Bedding industry is still feeling the effects of a shell-shocked 2017 due to Industry consolidation and an increased internet presence among other things. Preliminary data puts second quarter 2018 retail bedding sales at $3.81 billion up 3.5 percent over the same Q2 of 2017. Compared to the previous first quarter of this year, second quarter sales are down 5.1 percent due in part to Bedding’s seasonality.

Preliminary 2018 Q2 data points to continued slower Bedding growth. Sales of $3.81 billion are 3.5 percent greater than 2017 Q2 but 5.1 percent less than 2018 Q1.

For the first half of 2018, Bedding sales totaled $7.83 billion, up 3.1 percent over the first two quarters of last year.

Source:  Impact Consulting Services, Inc. industry model 
2017 and 2018q1  industry sales have been revised; 2018 data is preliminary

Industry Sales by Quarter 2011 Q2 to 2018 Q2 Furniture & Bedding

After a steady first quarter, total furniture industry sales continued to climb in quarter two, the healthiest growth since 2015. Furniture and bedding sales totaled $28.05 billion the second quarter and $55.04 for the first half of 2018. Despite a sluggish bedding market, total industry sales increased 8.1 percent in 2018 Q2 compared to a poor second quarter last year. Versus the first quarter of this year, sales grew 3.9 percent. First half 2018 sales were up 7 percent over 2017.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) in the second quarter grew 8.9 percent in the second quarter of this year versus the same quarter in 2017 totaling $24.24 billion. Compared to the first quarter of 2018, furniture sales increased 5.5 percent.

Due to the cyclical nature of the Bedding industry, second quarter sales typically weaker than the first of third quarters. Preliminary estimates put second quarter Bedding at $3.81 billion and year to date totals at $7.83 billion. 2018 Q2 finished 3.5 percent higher compare to 2017 Q2 and declined 5.1 percent over the 2018 Q1. For the first half of 2018, Bedding sales are up an estimated 3.1 percent.

The second quarter of 2018 maintained sustained and healthy quarter over quarter growth for furniture and bedding. Industry sales of $28.05 billion reflect an increase of 8.1 percent over 2017 Q2. Compared to the first quarter of this year sales are up 3.9 percent.

Furniture (excluding Bedding) increased 8.9 percent in 2018 Q2 versus the same second quarter of 2017 with sales of $24.24 billion. This figure is also 5.5 percent higher than the previous 2018 Q1.

Bedding sales are still under review, but preliminary results show 2018 Q2 Bedding at $3.81 billion, up 3.5 percent over the same Q2 of 2017. Compared to last quarter, 2018 Q1, sales fell 5.1 percent.

Labor Force 2026: Economic Dependency Ratio In Selected Years: 1996 to 2026

Although unemployment is down and an additional 10.5 million people are expected to be employed over the 2016 to 2026 decade, the diminishing rate of labor force growth due to an aging population and other changing demographics is projected to further slow the U.S. labor force participation rate. This is the final factoid in a series of six factoids detailing the projected demographic shifts in the workforce as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 Q4. *See factoid one in this series for Labor Force Methodology

In its purest form, full employment implies that any person wanting a job has one. The issue with employment data is that the Civilian Labor Force definition leaves out the number of people not looking for employment. These are the hidden numbers that are a challenge to economic growth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the Economic Dependency Ratio to highlight the impact of the non-employed which they define as the ratio of the number of people in the total population who are not in the labor force, per 100 of those who are. This is the portion of the population “dependent” on the working population. The BLS projections for 2026 highlight the growing economic pressure of the aging population on those in the workforce. The growth in the dependency of ages 65 and over will increase from 24.9 people per 100 workers to 30.9 older Americans. Even so, seniors still the lowest dependency ratio. The dependency ratio of 16 to 64 year olds not in the labor force increased steadily to 2016, but is projected to lessen slightly by 2026. In 2026 there will be an estimated 35 Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 who are not working per 100 American in the labor force. Children under 16 still have the highest dependency ratio, but it has declined from 45.4 per 100 to a projected 2025 ratio of 38.9.

A high dependency ratio can exacerbate the problems a government faces in health, social security & education costs, which are most used by the youngest and the oldest in a population.

Source: Employment Projections Program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics *projected

New Residential Construction Declines, Furniture Industry Improves

The furniture industry, which is heavily influenced by the ups and downs of the housing market, may have temporarily turned a blind eye to the poor economic news released this week on new housing construction. According to second quarter data soon to be released by Impact Consulting Services Inc.’s FurnitureCore.com market model, the furniture industry is beginning to show some much needed signs of life despite the housing shortage. Impact Consulting Services, Inc. is also the parent company of HFB Magazine.

Meanwhile results from FurnitureCore.com’s quarterly industry market model next week are expected to report Furniture and Bedding sales for the second quarter of this year up over 8 percent compared to the same quarter last year. 
Dismal news was evident on new residential construction for June compared to May 2018 according to data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Of the three key indicators from this report, data from May to June show Housing Starts down 12.3 percent, Building Permits down 2.2 percent, and Housing Completions flat.

The June issue of HFB Magazine’s Statistically Speaking article noted that “critically low inventories and subsequent skyrocketing home prices and rental rates are locking out new home buyers and stymieing moves at a time when the economy is growing, employment is high, and Millennials are fully entering their home buying years.” It remains to be seen if sustained furniture industry growth can continue in spite of the housing shortage and the economic realities of furniture buyers.

Labor Force Participation Rates by Age, Sex, and Race

Although unemployment is down and an additional 10.5 million people are expected to be employed over the 2016 to 2026 decade, the diminishing rate of labor force growth due to an aging population and other changing demographics is projected to further slow the U.S. labor force participation rate. This is the fifth factoid in a series of six factoids detailing the projected demographic shifts in the workforce as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 Q4. *See factoid one in this series for Labor Force Methodology

As the labor force gets older, the overall labor force participation rate is projected to decrease – down to 61 percent by 2026. But the individual age groups are of particular interest.  For the youngest age group 16 to 24, participation in the workforce declined steadily each 10-year span – from 66 percent in 1996 to a projected 53 percent in 2026. This decline in workforce participation is associated in part with a lower high school dropout rate and increased attendance at colleges, all positive factors. In fact, in many retail labor markets, senior citizens are filling the slots once held by teens and young adults.

The labor force participation rates among 25 to 54 year olds have trickled down but all are  expected to be above 80 percent in 2026. And while population numbers for 55 to 64 year olds are projected to hold at 41.3 million over 10 years, the labor force participation rate is expected to increase by 3 percent with more people working longer. For seniors 65 to 74, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 30 percent will still be working in 2026.

The labor force is taking a huge hit with men leaving or not returning to the workforce. At a 74.9 percent labor force participation rate in 1996, the rate for men is projected to fall 11.6 percentage points to 66.2 percent by 2026. However, contrary to strides being made by women in the workforce, just 56.1 percent of adult women 16 and over are expected to be in the labor force by 2026 – down 5.4 percentage points since 1996.

Workforce participation rates were highest in 2006 just prior to the Great Recession in all race and ethnic groups, except White, non Hispanics. Rates in 2016 are projected to continue to decline among all race and ethnic groups from 2016 to 2026 as the population ages with the exception of Hispanics. Hispanics have more of its adult population under the age of 65 than any other race or ethnic group and are less impacted by the aging workforce. Hispanics have the largest percentage of its adult population ready to work at 65.9 percent, with Hispanic men having the highest participation rate of any sex or race at 74.4 percent.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics *projected

Labor Force Participation Civilian NonInstitutional Population

Although unemployment is down and an additional 10.5 million people are expected to be employed over the 2016 to 2026 decade, the diminishing rate of labor force growth due to an aging population and other changing demographics is projected to further slow the U.S. labor force participation rate. This is the fourth factoid in a series of six factoids detailing the projected demographic shifts in the workforce as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 Q4. *See factoid one in this series for Labor Force Methodology

The labor force participation rate is the percent of the people working or looking for employment, divided by the total number of people over age 16. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the fourth quarter of last year paints a picture of varied growth patterns in labor force participation rates among different age, gender, race and ethnic groups. These participation rates highlight some the economic and social frustrations in America today as government entities, education leaders and communities struggle to find solutions. 

While growth continues in both the adult civilian population and labor force, as discussed earlier, the rate has slowed and is projected to continue to slow. In the 20-year period between 1996 and 2006, both grew at about the same rate – 1.3 percent average per year for the population over age 16 versus 1.2 percent labor force growth. However, during the 10-year period of the Great Recession and subsequent recovery 2006 to 2016, the rates got out of whack, with the civilian population over 16 years of age growing on average 1 percent annually while the labor force grew only half that rate. The gap between the civilian population over 16 and the labor force population (those working or looking for work) will narrow only slightly in the years ahead to 2026.

The large 65 plus older total population is on course to grow exponentially from 2016 to 2026 with most leaving the workforce. And while age segments 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 show growth during this decade, the number of 16 to 24 year olds is expected to decrease alongside 45 to 54 year olds. Those ages 55 to 64, many still choosing to stay longer in the workforce, projects a flat population growth.

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