Weak furniture demand expected to continue in 2024: Report

"World Furniture Outlook 2024/2025" by CSIL reveals that furniture exports fell significantly in 2022 and 2023 but remained above pre-pandemic levels.

Photo credit: World Furniture Online

The July 2024 edition of a report by CSIL analyzes the openness of furniture markets, highlights growth of furniture imports worldwide, and includes market shares of the major furniture exporters by geographical region.

The study, called  “World Furniture Outlook 2024/2025,” offers an overview of the global furniture sector, and includes predictions for the furniture market for 2024 and 2025 in 100 countries. 

According to CSIL, in 2023, world production of furniture was worth roughly USD$470 billion. The report also noted that the international trade of furniture exceeded USD$170 billion last year, after inactivity in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, exceptional growth followed, and there was another year of stagnation in 2022.

Source: CSIL

According to the report, the year 2023 did not see much activity in terms of the international trade of furniture.
The report noted that in 2024 and 2025, growth forecasts in current U.S. dollars are affected by the expectation of continuing inflation and indicate that recovery will be slow. Prospects of international furniture trade are also subject to downside risks due to possible trade restrictions and ongoing maritime transport difficulties.

The report noted that the leading importers of furniture are the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada; all of which account for roughly one-half of total imports. The report also revealed that the increase in imports in the U.S. was the main source of growth in the international trade of furniture and that about two-thirds of U.S. imports in 2023 were from Asia (China, Vietnam, and Malaysia).

Within the total U.S. furniture imports from Asia, the share from China decreased, along with imports from Vietnam. This, according to the report, is a result of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The report also noted that the year 2023 showed a decrease for all main importing countries, particularly the U.S.

According to the report, in 2023, furniture imports decreased more than consumption and the imports/consumption ratio was reduced by two percentage points. Since 2014, the imports/consumption ratio for furniture has been consistently above 30 per cent and has grown substantially between 2016 and 2022. The report also noted that it decreased in 2023 to a level more in line with past experience.

The report noted that China is the largest exporter of furniture, followed by Vietnam, Poland, Italy, and Germany. According to the report, China’s exports account for roughly one-third of global furniture exports.

Source: CSIL

Following a strong increase in 2021, the report noted that exports fell significantly in 2022 and 2023 but still remained above pre-pandemic levels. The report revealed that this decline was primarily due to the slowdown in destination markets, trade tensions with the U.S., and the slowdown in China’s economic growth.

The year 2023 was also a difficult year for global furniture consumption, and weak furniture demand is expected
to continue this year, with a possible recovery in 2025. According to CSIL, India is expected to be the world’s fastest-growing major economy.