Worldwide furniture consumption on the increase

Ursula Geismann, Press Officer of the Association of the German Furniture Industry
e.V., on the occasion of the Press Conference for the
2015, on
24 September 2014 in Mallorca.
Worldwide furniture consumption on the increase
Strong growth impulses from Asia and the USA
Kitchen and furniture trends: Global mix and a lot of individuality
A new phase of home living has begun.
For most people home living is becoming
more important and thus also more attractive. There are reasons for this. In the
big "emerging markets" such as India and
China, more and more people are becoming affluent. They have more income and
can thus invest more money in furnishing
their own four walls. The furniture and
interior decorating business is thus becoming
The worldwide furniture consumption has
doubled over the last ten years up to
Worldwide furniture con-
around 335 billion Euros. For the year
sumption to increase by 4
2014, an increase of around 4 percent is
percent in 2014
expected for the worldwide furniture consumption. The average expenditure is
€47 per person from Peking, to Ulan Ba-
Every citizen of the world
tor, to Mombasa, Hyderabad through to
spends on average €47 Eu-
ros on furniture per annum
The growth is predominantly being driven
by Asia. Whereas the furniture market in
Western Europe is expected to decline by
one percent this year, the furniture sales
in North America are expected to rise by
The strongest growth im-
2 percent, in Eastern Europe by 3 per-
pulses are coming from
cent, in the Middle East, parts of Africa
and parts of South America by 4 percent
and in Asia by 6 percent.
The development of the worldwide furniture demand is consistent with the economic outlook in the most important sales
markets. However, due to the current
worldwide crises, the GDP growth is expected to be curbed. The economic researchers are expecting the global econ-
Crises are dampening the
omy to carry on picking up speed this
year and next year, but not as significantly as in the past years. The Asiatic
emerging markets, predominantly China
with an expected 7.4 percent growth in
GDP in 2014, will take over the role of the
world's most important driving force for
the economy. A steady, but moderate
increase in the USA's GDP of 1.7 percent
for this year and 3 percent for next year is
also forecast.
The European Union with its meanwhile
28 member states is the biggest economic area in the world. The 507 million inhabitants achieved a gross domestic
product of 13 billion Euros in 2013, which
corresponds to a 0.2 percent decrease
EU still the biggest econom-
compared to the previous year. The cri-
ic area in the world
sis-hit economy in the EU is still weak this
year. The growth forecast for this year is
thus only 1.1 percent and the prospects
are uncertain. For example, the EU economy is still in a recession.
According to the current forecast by the
EU growth forecast only 1.1
EU Commission, the real GDP in the EU
will increase by 1.6 percent in 2014 and
by 2.2 percent in the Euro area. For 2015,
a 2 percent growth rate in the EU and a
1.7 percent growth rate for the Euro area
is forecast.
Slight growth in the EU exWho supplies the different economic re-
pected in 2015 too
gions with new furniture?
The world's largest furniture manufacturer
is still the Peoples' Republic of China with
an overall share of 31 percent. The Chinese production volume for furniture has
increased sharply over the past years. In
the meantime, however, there are signs
of a slowdown in growth due to the increased manufacturing and material costs
and the related rise in the production
costs. As a result, Chinese furniture imports to Germany declined by 9.8 percent
last year. The USA produce 14 percent of
all furniture, followed by Italy with a 7 per-
In China, the furniture pro-
cent share of the world production and
duction has stabilised at a
Germany with a share of 6 percent. With
high level.
a share of 6 percent - the figure from the
year 2013 - ranking fourth in the world,
Germany holds a significant position.
Our domestic industry encountered declines in turnover due to the difficult overall market situation in 2013. For the year
2014, we are expecting to achieve a stable turnover, which matches last year's
level. The German furniture industry
achieved a 1.6 percent growth in turnover
in the first six months of 2014. As such,
our industry is currently treading water
economically speaking. According to our
The German furniture mar-
estimates, this won't change significantly
up until the end of the year, so that we
are expecting to close the fiscal year
2014 with zero growth.
84,220 men and women currently work in
the German furniture industry in a total of
518 companies. The figures for the same
period last year were 84,388 employees
in 528 companies.
The importance of the German market is
also reflected by the high pro capita expenditure on furniture by the consumers.
German is an attractive and toughly contested market, because the Germany love
home living.
But let's return to the global view:
The shifts in the past years, above all
through China's sharply increased production and the export of Chinese furni-
Stable turnovers
ture, have led to a redirection of the flow
of goods. The worldwide furniture business will increase by a further 5 percent
this year up to around 100 billion Euros.
The chief buyer worldwide is the USA.
Per capita expenditure for
Germany is the second biggest furniture
buyer, followed by France, Great Britain
and Canada. Due to the rising incomes of
the population and the overall positive
spending behaviour, the Asiatic market is
also becoming increasingly significant as
a sales region. In addition to the domestic
brand furniture Germany and Italy are
also profiting from this trend.
In the current year, from the point of view
of the Germany furniture industry, North
America is becoming an important market
where we were able to sell a significantly
higher amount of furniture in the first half
Worldwide furniture busi-
of 2014 (+5 percent). The international
ness will increase by 5 per-
business in the EU is also showing posi-
cent this year
tive development (+1.6 percent). Otherwise, the international business stagnated
for the German manufacturers. In the first
half of the year, the overall exports
dropped by 0.5 percent down to €4.6 billion.
This is of course only a small section of
the global furniture world. Because if we
take a look at the worldwide trade volume
of our industry, it has more than doubled
over the past ten years - so there is reason for optimism.
2015. Manufactur-
Market share of German
ers that want to do business with furniture
furniture in:
and furnishings in the globalised world
are going to be in Cologne in 2015. Co-
logne is the international kitchen, furniture
and furnishing platform. This is why we
The Netherlands 20%
are expecting an increase in the number
of visitors including international dealers.
The parent fair
Great Britain
is, as is the
case with all the other furniture and furniture supplier fairs in Cologne, such as the
office furniture trade fair Orgatec, the
garden trade fair, the Kind + Jugend and
the interzum, the "number one in furniture".
Living trends
All in all, the basic trend is towards a
global mix with a touch of romantic. In
contrast to the cool, virtual Internet, the
people want their own home to be cosy
and full of harmonious shapes and colours and living accessories. Items are
chosen very consciously and "authentically staged". This doesn't involve items
being randomly placed somewhere, but
they are instead arranged in the room
quite consciously to create a harmonious
overall picture. The global mix provides
furnishing ideas and furniture from all
world cultures. The result is unique living
environments that don't easily allow the
time and place of their origins to be determined. Contemporary people live in
Shanghai, New York, Cape Town and
Hamburg in the global mix. Far away
from the urbanisation, rural regions clear-
Global mix with a touch of
ly lag behind the mega trends. Where in
the past typical cultures dominated the
living environment, such as typical Scandinavian design or the typical altdeutsch
(Old German) style, today it is the mega
trends that have originated in metropolises all over the world. Big city living
styles are at least becoming the reflection of the global modern-day age.
The rise of the kitchen
The kitchen belongs to the basic furnishing of every apartment today. In cooperation with architects, the modern floor
plans have undergone vast change over
the past years, today the kitchen has become the centrepiece of the house.
Open, merged and aesthetic featuring the
highest standards.
Absolute individuality is also the rage in
the kitchen. The compilation, the types of
the fronts as well as the colours, heights,
extractors, light sources - everything can
be freely selected. Professional planning
and consultation is therefore urgently
One noticeable thing this season is the
fact that many people are asking about
the energy efficiency of the so-called
"white goods". In addition to quiet running
noises, modern electrical appliances are
Individuality preferred
more energy-saving than ever today.
Overall, the trend in the modern offer of
kitchen furniture is towards a timeless,
modern and rather purist design.
In addition to the perceivable living trends
of 2015, we very much welcome individual demands and the increased sensibility
for the living environment. The people are
Saving energy is a topical
becoming aware that they want to feel
comfortable in their own homes where
they spend at least 340 days of the year.
There is guaranteed to be plenty of new
things to discover this year and we are
thus looking forward to the upcoming
2015. We very
much look forward to being able to welcome you all there.
From 19 to 25 January 2015