Despite the need for office furniture such as executive office chairs, the industry has dwindled for some time because of the decline in the economy. Now that the economy is starting to pick up, as well as the office furniture industry, executives believe that there will be stability in the near future.
According to Brian Walker, the CEO of Herman Miller Inc., when it comes to demand the industry can be said to be in a healthy state right now. Though he admitted that the economy is slow to pick up its recovery, many companies are now doing well for a period of time which made them spend more on their facilities.
As of this year, the industry of office furniture has already exceeded that set growth targets. In the first quarter alone, shipments have increased by 9% which made it to $2.39 billion. The orders, on the other hand, have increased by 8% which made it to $2.35 billion. The numbers are in comparison to last year’s data for the same period. These data are from BIFMA or Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association which is based in Grand Rapids. An estimate was already released earlier this year which amounts the shipping volume for first quarter to have increased by around 4.4%.
According to a forecast made by BIFMA, there is an expected increase in the shipments by another 4.4% which will make the 2015 amass a total of $10.2 billion. While for 2016, BIFMA’s forecast is said to increase by 7.9% which will gather $11 billion for shipments alone. The previous forecast was only set at a growth of 6.6%.
Tom Reardon, BIFMA’s executive director, expressed how they think the forecast for this year is not as good as for 2016. He also believed that the outlook is going in the right direction and data will continue to grow in the coming years.
Michael A. Dunlap & Associates LLC recently released an activity index for office furniture which set it at 56.80 based on a scale of 0 to 100 for the month of April. Last January, the index was at 57.26 while half a year ago it was at 57.58.