World demand to rise nearly 5% annually through 2018
Through 2018, global demand for floor coverings is forecast to grow to over 19 billion square meters on annual gains of nearly five percent, an improvement from the rate of the 2008-2013 period. In value terms, flooring and carpet demand is forecast to rise over seven percent annually to $325 billion in 2018. Expected rebounds in housing construction in higher-income countries, including the US and some in Western Europe, will boost floor covering demand. 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, increasing motor vehicle production in many areas will boost demand for flooring and carpets.
North America to exhibit fastest growth in demand
Overall, the most rapid demand growth through 2018 is projected for North America. An expected housing market recovery in the US will be the primary driver of demand in this region, with demand for floor coverings in residential buildings forecast to rise more than seven percent per year through 2018. The Asia/ Pacific region is expected to register the second fastest advances in floor covering demand through 2018. China alone is forecast to account for over one-third of new flooring and carpet demand generated during this time, strengthening its position as the largest floor covering market in the world.
Dominant nonresilient flooring to grow the fastest
Floor covering consumption patterns vary greatly across the world. For instance, in 2013 ceramic tile accounted for approximately one-half of total demand in the Asia/Pacific region and Central and South America, while carpets and rugs predominated in North America. Resilient flooring saw its greatest penetration in Eastern Europe, where it accounted for one-third of regional floor covering demand in 2013. Worldwide, nonresilient flooring products represented nearly 60 percent of floor covering demand in 2013, and these products are expected to post the fastest demand growth through 2018. Manufacturers of nonresilient flooring will benefit from rapid gains in demand in Asia, where these products account for the vast majority of floor covering sales. For example, in 2013 nonresilient flooring represented more than 80 percent of demand in China, with ceramic tile accounting for the majority. Demand for carpets and rugs will enjoy its fastest growth in North America based on these products’ extensive usage in the residential market in the US.
Nonresidential buildings to be fastest growing market
Residential buildings constitute the largest market for floor coverings, accounting for over 55 percent of sales in 2013. Nonresidential buildings made up over 35 percent of demand, while transportation and other markets represented the remainder. The fastest growth in demand is expected in nonresidential building applications through 2018, partially due to rebounds in nonresidential construction expenditures in many higher-income countries. Demand for floor coverings in the transportation equipment market will also post strong gains due to rising motor vehicle production. In the residential building market, demand for floor coverings will see solid growth from rebounding housing markets in many countries, including the US.