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Daily News

Sales Gains Expected for Household Durables
Oct 2, 2002
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Standard & Poor's has released its forecast for the Household Durables Industry, which includes expectations of low-to-mid-single digit gains in wholesale shipment volumes of appliances and furniture throughout 2002 and 2003.

This report from Standard & Poor's also describes varying outlooks for the industry's largest players. The industry forecast is part of Standard & Poor's Industry Survey on Household Durables, a study produced every 6 months by the firm's senior equity analyst for household durables.

According to Standard & Poor's senior equity analyst for this industry, demand for furniture and appliances will benefit from factors including a renewed focus on the home -- "cocooning" -- since the September 2001 terrorist attacks and the favorable demographics of the baby boomer generation, who have reached a stage in life where they're increasingly concerned with upgrading the contents of their homes. Nonetheless, margins for appliance producers such as Maytag and Whirlpool are expected to be squeezed by rising steel prices.

"Demand for furnishings and appliances should remain healthy," says Efraim Levy, Standard & Poor's senior equity analyst for household durables and author of the survey. "But reduced consumer confidence, higher joblessness and lower stock markets could limit sales gains."

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