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Outlook for the home improvement products market

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The September 2012 IHS Global Insight/HIRI Home Improvement Products Market Forecast for total home improvement product sales for 2012 is little changed -- pointing to an increase of  4.9% to $274 billion, compared with the March 2012 forecast of 5.0% growth to $283 billion. 

Consumer Market sales are expected to increase by 5.3% and Professional Market sales by 3.9%, according to the data. 

As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve in 2014, IHS/HIRI expects stronger growth of home improvement sales averaging 5.9% in 2014-2015 with a slight deceleration in the following two years as the housing market cycle runs its course.

The national economic situation will certainly have a say in the matter.

Most recent economic reports point to continued growth, albeit at a modest pace. The IHS/HIRI forecast of 2.1% growth of real GDP this year is unchanged from the March 2012 report on the home improvement products market. 

Uncertainty over the deepening recession in the Eurozone will weigh on the U.S. economy. So will uncertainty over federal spending and tax imbalances, according to the forecast, which now expects GDP growth in 2013 of 1.8%, down 0.5% from the March forecast. 

On the other hand is housing: “Some of the most upbeat news is coming from housing, with prices now beginning to turn up, and home sales and housing starts trending higher,” according to the IHS/HIRI news release. “We expect existing-home sales to increase 6.2% this year and 8.1% in 2013. Housing starts are trending higher than we expected, but we do not expect a sharp acceleration next year from the 24% increase projected this year.” 

The forecast anticipates slower growth of the home improvement products market in 2013 and shows a 4.0% increase to $284.8 billion -- revised downward slightly compared with the March report. Professional Market sales growth will slightly outpace Consumer Market growth, since the former will benefit more from steadily improving housing market activity.

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), headquartered in Tampa, Fla., is an independent, not-for-profit organization comprised of about 80 manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and allied organizations in the home improvement industry. The goup’s 2012 fall conference in Chicago, to be held Oct. 17, is called Retailing in Home Improvement: 2013 and Beyond.”

For information, visit hiri.org.

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