World demand for flooring and carpets is forecast to grow 5.0 percent annually through 2014 to 15.3 billion square meters. This will represent a noticeable improvement over market performance during the 2004-2009 period, when the 2009 global economic downturn depressed floor covering sales. Market advances will be driven by acceleration in world residential building construction activity, supported by an upturn in spending in industrialized countries such as the US, and by healthy sales environments in a number of developing nations. Renewed strength in motor vehicle industry production after a period of decline will also contribute to overall flooring and carpet market growth. These and other trends are presented in World Flooring & Carpets, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

In a reversal of historical trends, North America will register the fastest sales gains of any region through 2014, largely because of a strong rebound in residential construction expenditures in the US, with double-digit annual increases in regional motor vehicle output also helping to bolster floor covering demand. Developing parts of Asia will post the next fastest advances, followed by the Africa/Mideast region, Central and South America and Eastern Europe. China alone will account for 38 percent of all additional sales through 2014, strengthening its position as the largest flooring and carpet market in the world in area terms. Growth is also expected to be healthy in lower-volume markets like Ukraine, India, Vietnam, Turkey and Thailand. Although increases will generally be not as strong as in North America or developing parts of the world, floor covering demand in Japan and Western Europe will climb as well.

Although consumption patterns vary considerably from area to area, global flooring and carpet sales are dominated by nonresilient flooring (such as ceramic, laminate and wood), and market gains for these products are projected to be stronger than those for both resilient and textile floor coverings through 2014. World demand for carpets and rugs, the next most widely utilized type of floor covering, will be spurred by robust growth in US residential building construction activity and an upturn in global automotive industry production. Sales advances for resilient flooring, which accounts for the remaining product demand, will be stimulated by its comparatively low cost and supported by favorable performance characteristics.

SOURCE: The Freedonia Group Inc.

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