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AFMA Forecasts 12.7% Increase in 1998 and 2.4% In 1999

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The American Furniture Manufacturers Association (AFMA) has released its summer edition of the Quarterly Economic Forecast to member companies. The forecast concludes that industry shipments will increase 12.7% in dollar value, up to $23.918 billion in 1998 and increase 2.4%, up to $24.482 billion in 1999. Consumer purchases of furniture are expected to increase 7.4% in 1998, up to $57.311 billion, and grow 4.8% further in 1999, up to $60.044 billion. Wood furniture is expected to finish 1998 at $11.349 billion, an increase of 10.8% in dollar value of shipments, and upholstered furniture is expected to total $9.882 billion in 1998, up 16.4% from the 1997 level. The forecast includes more information on many aspects of the furniture industry as well as general national economic predictions. Using the AFMA Econometric Model and projections from the University of Michigan, the Association makes quarterly predictions of future furniture industry activity. Valuable information is provided on the following topics: the national economy, the housing market, gross domestic product, personal disposable income, interest rates, consumer purchases of furniture, manufacturers shipments of furniture, wood furniture shipments, upholstered furniture shipments, metal and other furniture and a company growth and market share analysis. The Quarterly Economic Forecast is produced as a member service of AFMA. Member companies can receive extra copies of the forecast by contacting Gail Stricklin at AFMA (336) 884-5000. AFMA is a nonprofit, volunteer organization for U.S. furniture manufacturers, with 350 corporate members representing 150,000 employees and more than 75% of domestic and global shipments of U.S. furniture. Headquartered in High Point, North Carolina, the world's furniture capital, AFMA also maintains a Washington, DC office to represent the interests of the furniture industry on legislative and regulatory affairs to the government.

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