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David Perry

ISPA forecasts growth

The mattress industry is on the comeback trail this year and even better days are expected next year, according to the latest industry forecast issued by the International Sleep Products Assn.

ISPA's forecast panel now expects a 4.5% gain in unit shipments this year and a 7.5% rise in the dollar value of mattress shipments. That's more bullish than last fall's forecast, which had predicted increases of 3.5% in units and 7% in dollars.

The most recent forecast comes as the industry is returning to growth after a sustained downturn, with dollars and units both down about 10% last year. The improving business conditions in the new year are sparking hopes in the industry for a stronger year in 2010 and beyond.

In 2011, the ISPA forecast calls for mattress unit sales to rise 6.3% and the dollar value of mattress shipments to jump 10%.

ISPA said the consensus of its Statistics Committee is that the bedding recovery begins this year. “Importantly,” ISPA said, “this recovery will be strong enough to sustain an increase in prices with a 2.9% average unit price increase in 2010 and an additional 3.5% increase forecasted for 2011.”

Furniture/Today's Bedding Consensus Forecast, based on the predictions of two dozen leading bedding producers and issued last December, sees only a modest rebound this year. That forecast calls for dollars to increase by 2.2% this year, with units forecast to increase by 2.5%.

Unlike the ISPA forecast, the Furniture/Today forecast is not updated during the year.

ISPA's forecasts reflect the consensus of its forecast panel, made up of producers and suppliers. ISPA's econometric model is used to generate a baseline industry forecast based on the current outlook for the national economy prepared by the University of Michigan. The initial forecast is then reviewed and analyzed by the forecast panel, which produces a forecast consistent with the average of the committee members' predictions, ISPA said.

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