Signs Are Pointing To The Beginning Of A U.S. Floor Coverings Sales Recovery
Catalina Research estimates U.S. square foot sales is projected to increase by 2.5% in the first quarter of 2024. This follows a 1.9% gain in the fourth quarter of 2023. Catalina came to this conclusion based on an estimated 4.0% to 5.0% increase in U.S. floor coverings square foot imports in the fourth quarter of 2023. This data was uncovered in the December issue of the Catalina Floor Coverings Quarterly Update. These increases came after five quarters of declining square foot sales.
An Upturn In Square Foot Floor Coverings Sales Reflects A Moderating Decline In U.S. Housing Demand
Catalina Research estimates U.S. square foot sales is projected to increase by 2.5% in the first quarter of 2024.
Total U.S. housing demand could decrease by only 3.8% in the first quarter of 2024 after a 7.5% decline in the fourth quarter of 2023. Housing demand dropped an average of 21.0% per quarter over the previous five quarters. The moderating decline in housing demand reflects the halving of the decrease in existing home sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the beginning of an upturn in new single-family home construction. Square foot sales also received a boost from retailers re-stocking their inventories after 18 months of liquidating excess inventories.
However, There Are Many “Ifs” If U.S. Floor Coverings Sales Can Sustain A Sales Recovery For The Entire Year
• Manufacturer sales will strengthen further if retailers continue to add to inventories in anticipation of increasing consumer demand.
• Consumer demand will increase if consumer sentiment continues to increase after a rise in December, the first increase in four months.
• Consumer sentiment will continue to rise if the stock market remains on an upward trend.
• The stock market will remain on an upward trend if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates in the spring.
• The Federal Reserve will cut interest rates if inflation continues to decline.
• The housing market will start a significant rebound if inflation and interest rates drop due to pent up demand.
• And consumer floor coverings spending will turn positive if housing demand increases significantly.
• Consumer spending must recover from the sharp 2023 decline if total U.S. floor covering manufacturer sales can increase during 2024.
See how these “ifs” could play out during 2024 in the Catalina Floor Coverings Outlook 2024 Report. The report uncovers the actions needed to outperform industry growth and increase market share over the next year. The report also provides a five-year forecast by product. In addition, the report indicates how macro-economic trends will affect the builder, consumer, and commercial markets.
Contact Stuart Hirschhorn to discuss the findings in this and other pertinent Catalina Research Floor Coverings Industry Reports. Click on the title and review the contents and analysis included in these in-depth industry investigations.
Stuart Hirschhorn, is the Founder and Director of Research at Catalina Research, publishing the annual U.S. Floor Coverings Industry Report that is used as the base of statistics for Floor Covering Weekly’s “Annual Statistical Issue” since 1991 and he publishes industry and sector reports including Floor Coverings Distribution Channels and Floor Coverings Region and State Markets, Wood and Laminate Flooring, Ceramic and Stone Tile, and LVT and Other Resilient Flooring, coving U.S. manufacturer shipments, imports and exports, pricing trends, end-use markets, distribution channels, contractor data, plant operating ratios and profit margins, and the competitive environment.