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Dana French

Furniture Today's Economic Forecast for 2013

U.S. furniture and bedding sales will grow a little more slowly this year as economic growth tapers off and unemployment remains stubbornly high, according to Furniture Today's new consensus forecast.

Consumer spending on furniture and bedding, a broad measure of retail activity, is projected to increase 4.3% this year to $87.8 billion, after growing 5.1% in 2012.

While 2013 is expected to be the industry's fourth year of growth in a row, business hasn't quite recovered to the level of the peak years in 2006 and 2007, when spending hit $90.9 billion. The industry is likely to continue its slow recovery from the Great Recession.

One bright spot is expected to be housing, with housing starts projected to advance nearly 10% to 945,000 - not a record pace by any means, but a sign of health.

This exclusive report includes 2012 estimates and 2013 projections for Consumer spending on furniture and bedding; Housing starts; Existing home sales; New home sales; Mortgage rates; Real gross domestic product; Consumer price index; Unemployment; Personal disposable income and Prime interest rates. Data for the forecast came from Budd Bugatch, Raymond James; Jerry Epperson, Mann, Armistead & Epperson; Ken Smith, Smith Leonard; Association for Financial Professionals; Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Fannie Mae Economics and Mortgage Market Analysis; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, The Livingston Survey; Federal Reserve; Freddie Mac; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Association of Home Builders; National Association of Realtors; RBC; TD Economics; The Conference Board; PNC Financial Services Group; University of Michigan, Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics (RSQE); U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Commerce; Bureau of Economic Analysis; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Wall Street Journal and Wells Fargo.

Furniture/Today's 2013 Economic Forecast was compiled by Furniture/Today's market research team, led by Dana French, Director of Research and Stephanie Nickell, Research Analyst.

For the complete report, see the 14 January 2013 print issue, or click here for the exclusive online edition.

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