An updated office furniture industry outlook shows business picking up.
The quarterly outlook from the Business and Institutional Manufacturers Association in Grand Rapids now projects North American shipments to grow 4.1 percent in 2013 to $9.6 billion. That’s an upgrade from the previous quarterly outlook issued in June that forecast shipment growth of 2.1 percent for the year.
The new outlook, however, does slightly lessen expectations for 2014, although it still projects solid 6.1-percent growth in North American shipments for the industry to $10.2 billion. The previous outlook three months ago projected 7.2-percent shipment growth next year.
In 2012, shipments for the office furniture industry dipped 1.1 percent to $9.2 billion.
The updated BIFMA outlook comes just prior to Steelcase Inc. and Herman Miller Inc. reporting quarterly sales and earnings.
Grand Rapids-based Steelcase is expected to report sales of $773.3 million, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier, and net income of 26 cents per share, according to a consensus estimate from brokerage analysts. Steelcase reports quarterly results Sept. 19.
Analysts expect Zeeland-based Herman Miller to report a 3.4-percent quarterly sales increase to $465.1 million and net income of 39 cents per share, according to a consensus estimate at yahoofinance.com. Herman Miller reports its quarterly results on Sept. 18.