GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The latest quarterly outlook from the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assn. predicts essentially flat sales next year for the office furniture industry, as long as the nation’s economy stays out of recession, according to Mlive.com. BIFMA’s forecast projects industry-wide shipments to decline 0.6%, to $11.3 billion.

“Things are slowing down and we expect a little flat spot next year,” said Tom Reardon, BIFMA’s executive director.

The decline reflects the trend of BIFMA's quarterly forecasts, which have been adjusted downward during 2007. Flat or slightly lower sales in 2008 would follow a projected rate of 5.2% shipment growth in 2007, to $11.4 billion.

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