Through 2018, global demand for floor coverings is forecast to advance 4.5% annually to 19.4 billion square meters, valued at $325 billion. Growth represents an improvement from the rate of the 2008-2013 period due to an expected rebound in housing construction in many higher-income countries, including the U.S. and some in Western Europe. In less developed countries, flooring and carpet demand will benefit from continued strong growth in building construction activity and rising per capita incomes that will allow households to purchase more expensive floor coverings. In addition, rising motor vehicle production in many areas will boost overall demand for floor coverings. These and other trends are presented in “World Flooring & Carpet,” a recent study from The Freedonia Group, Inc.
Residential buildings constitute the largest market for floor coverings, accounting for 57% of sales in 2013. Nonresidential buildings made up 37% of demand, while transportation and other markets represented the remainder.
Through 2018, the fastest demand growth for floor coverings is projected for North America. “A housing market recovery in the U.S. will be the primary driver of growth,” said Allison Blackburn, analyst. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to post the second-fastest gains in floor covering demand, with China alone forecast to account for 36% of the new demand generated during this time. This will strengthen China’s position as the largest national floor covering market. Gains in developed areas such as Western Europe, Australia, and Japan will not match those seen in North America or developing regions. However, rebounds in new housing construction in both Australia and Japan and many countries in Western Europe will boost floor covering demand relative to that in recent years.
Worldwide, non-resilient flooring products represented nearly three-fifths of floor covering demand in 2013, and these products are expected to post the fastest demand growth through 2018. Manufacturers of non-resilient flooring will benefit from rapid gains in demand in Asia, where non-resilient products account for the vast majority of floor covering sales. Demand for carpets and rugs will enjoy its fastest growth in North America due to these products’ extensive use in the residential market in the U.S.