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Austrian Furniture Industry 2016: on course for growth with positive figures

3. July 2017

8.8% rise in production, 5.1% growth in exports and 6.5% increase in imports.

The economic upturn in Austria is also being reflected in the furniture industry: “The mood among companies is very positive, and the consumer climate is well above the European average” stresses Dr Georg Emprechtinger, Chairman of the Austrian Furniture Industry. On an international level, too, ‘Made in Austria’ has established itself as an exclusive quality label. “High-quality products and flexibility along with consistent management of innovation in terms of design and functions are key features for Austrian furniture manufacturers, and enable them to stand out from the crowd”, explains Emprechtinger. Austrian manufacturers and producers also score highly when it comes to high-tech solutions, innovation, handmade precision and top quality. In addition, sustainable furniture concepts, individual manufacturing options, as well as many years of tradition and high levels of customer service all help to ensure demand is lively.

As a result, according to preliminary figures, the Austrian furniture industry saw a pleasing rise in production in 2016 of 8.8% (not including furniture parts). This enabled companies to increase their revenues to nearly EUR 2 billion from EUR 1.84 billion in the same period last year. Exports also saw an upturn: the Austrian industry accounted for a growth of 5.1% over the past year, which equates to a value of EUR 880.4 million. As ever, the most important export partner is Germany. In 2016, furniture with a total value of EUR 359.2 million was delivered to our neighbour. This equates to a remarkable increase of 5.3%. The greatest increase was among office suppliers, with a growth of 22.7%. Kitchen and office furniture manufacturers also grew by +16.6% and +8.7% respectively. There was some bad news, however: in terms of imports, the Austrian Furniture Industry organisation reported an increase of 6.5% to EUR 1.81 billion. Germany ranked first for imports, followed by Poland and China.

“The rise in production and the export growth serve as evidence that the domestic industry has really done its homework and well positioned for the future. It will certainly be important in the years to come to ensure that the domestic market is strengthened in order to reduce imports in the long term”, emphasises Dr Georg Emprechtinger. “The sector will also be faced with additional challenges in future, such as digitalisation and a greater degree of flexibility”. The Austrians will therefore be focusing on improving the awareness of the ‘Made in Austria’ label and on honing the quality of service performance offered. From custom-made pieces and customisable concepts to expanding the range of services on offer – it is important to offer even more incentives to buy.

“The strengths of medium-sized businesses lie in their high quality along with their exclusive services”, explains Dr Georg Emprechtinger. “These include smart functions, skilled craftsmanship and top-quality design along with ecological expertise, sustainable arguments and durable products. These strengths are clearly gaining traction in international business”.

Source Austrian Furniture Industry

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3. July 2017
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