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Business Review Western MI
Business Review Western MI
Outlook sees office furniture declines through '09
(2008-02-27)
(wgvu) - Outlook sees office furniture declines through '09

by By MARK SANCHEZ
marks@mbusinessreview.com


A new quarterly outlook for the first time foresees the office
furniture industry experiencing a downturn to close out the decade.

Following a previously predicted and slight 0.6 percent decline for
2008, industry production could fall off another 2.6 percent in 2009, to
$11.1 billion, according to the updated outlook from the Grand
Rapids-based Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers
Association.

The outlook, prepared quarterly by Global Insight for the current and
following year, is predicated on the national economy's experiencing a
mild recession in 2008, BIFMA Executive Director Tom Reardon said.

"Given the nature of the macro-economic picture, it's not too
surprising," Reardon said.

The BIFMA outlook first forecast a slight downturn for 2008 when it
previously was updated in November. The newest update, issued last week,
added 2009 and the potential for a subsequent, larger decline.

The possibility of an extended downturn comes after the industry had
put up four straight years of solid growth following a devastating
period earlier this decade that saw production fall 36 percent from a
peak of $13.28 billion in 2000, to $8.50 billion in 2003.

The industry in 2007 grew 4.4 percent, continuing its rebound, to
$11.42 billion.
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