ZEELAND, MI – Brian Walker, CEO of Herman Miller Inc. anticipates the industry is moving into a moderate two-year downturn, as forecast, though nothing like what office furniture makers experienced early this decade, according to mlive.com.

Walker said business “is not going to jump off the end of a cliff,” though some difficulty lies ahead. “I would expect this to be a moderate cycle, rather than a pronounced cycle. My guess is there’ll be some growth to slightly down for 2008, then we’ll start to rebound in 2009, probably in the back half.”

Walker noted that rapidly rising commodity prices and record-high energy costs make the business environment, and an accurate outlook, more challenging.

“We’re seeing things we haven’t seen in a generation,” he said. “Right now, it’s an extremely difficult picture to forecast.”

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