March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA 40 MARKET REPORT The furniture market is picking up as the world economy shows signs of recovery. By Roberta Mutti and Franz Rivoira , ICON - Italian Consulting Pte Ltd B y the end of 2017, global GDP reached 3.5 per cent, with both developed and developing economies showing positive signs of growth. Among the BRIC countries, Brazil and Russia are emerging from recession; China has had a higher-than-expected growth in 2017; India is expected to expand over seven per cent until 2020. The outlook is positive for the next three years, with emerging countries growing at a rate of more than four per cent. Developed countries however, will inch up just under two per cent on average. Among the high-income economies, the U.S. will continue on its growth trajectorywhile Europe is likely to slow down to an average of 2.2 per cent. Thanks to this positive rebound, world trade in manufactured goods also rose by 4.9 per cent. In 2018 growth is expected to remain above four per cent. Country Market share (%) China 35 Germany 8 Italy 7 Poland 7 Vietnam 6 The top five furniture exporters account for 63 per cent of the world's furniture exports. Country Market share (%) United States 28 Germany 10 United Kingdom 6 France 5 Canada 4 The top five furniture importers account for 53 per cent of the world's furniture imports. Country Market share (%) China 29 United States 20 India 5 Japan 3 UK 3 France 3 Canada 2 Italy 2 These countries account for 75 per cent of the world’s total furniture consumption. THE WORLD’S FURNITURE MARKET The global furniture market, valued at US$425 billion in 2017, is expected to jump by 3.5 per cent in 2018. The global furniture trade in 2017 also increased by three per cent compared to 2016. This year, the international furniture trade is expected to rise by about four per cent, with the main bulk of this growth concentrated mainly in Asia Pacific. China is still the largest furniture exporter, accounting for 35 per cent of the global total. Its market share is still increasing. This is followed by Germany, Italy, Poland andVietnam. Together, these top five exporting countries account for 63 per cent of the world's furniture exports. APAC AND THE FURNITURE INDUSTRY Considering that over half of the world’s furniture is produced in Asia Pacific, and that about 40 per cent of trade takes place here, themarket is of great interest to major players. Malaysia and Vietnamare among the world’s top 10 exporters, taking 8 th and 5 th place respectively. Both producing countries dominate the low-end and wood furniture segment. Vietnam’s leap forward is mainly due to lower labour cost compared toneighbouring countries. Between 2004 and 2010, the number of furniture manufacturers in China doubled. There are currently about 5,500 Growth forecast for the furniture market in 2018 – 2019. Source: CSIIL.