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Comeback Seen for US Paint & Coatings

Friday, November 11, 2011

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Reports of the death of the U.S. paint and coatings industry will have been greatly exaggerated (as Mark Twain might say), if a new market forecast pans out.

Resurging demand across all sectors is expected to ignite a robust 7.8 percent annual increase in the U.S. paint and coatings market, pushing it past the $26 billion mark by 2015, according to Paint & Coatings to 2015, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

 The Freedonia Group Inc.

 Photos: The Freedonia Group Inc.

The market is expected to expand greatly in both volume and value, rebounding from the declines of 2005 to 2010, according to Freedonia.


Construction spending and manufactured goods output both plummeted in those years, taking coatings demand with them. Only fast-growing product prices helped stanch even greater losses in market value, Freedonia said.

Looking ahead, however, Freedonia sees that decline reversing and demand for architectural and manufacturing coatings rebounding, reviving the sectors hit hardest during the recession.

Maintenance and specialty coatings, which were already faring better than other sectors in recent years, will also grow at above-average rates, fueled by greater spending to maintain aging infrastructure.

Architectural: ‘Impressive’

The large architectural market will advance at what Freedonia calls “an impressive annual rate of 10.8 percent” through 2015, reaching more than $14 billion.  Renewed strength in the housing market will drive demand as home-building activity rebounds from the 2010 slump. Interior architectural paints will remain a larger, and faster-growing, market than exterior paints. 

Manufacturing: ‘Respectable’

Manufacturing coating sales will expand at a “respectable” 5 percent annual rate through 2015, reversing the declines of 2000 to 2010, the report says.

 The Freedonia Group Inc.

 Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.

Furniture and fixtures will enjoy strong prospects and remain the leading outlet for coatings over the period. The automotive sector will grow even faster, however, recapturing its position as the No. 2 outlet for manufacturing coatings. 

Maintenance & Specialty: ‘Above Average’

Industrial maintenance and specialty coatings will remain the smallest niche, but both are expected to advance at above-average rates, driven by increased nonresidential improvement and repair and by greater spending on infrastructure maintenance. Key outlets include industrial maintenance, and road and bridge markets. 

Finally, Freedonia reports, the trend toward sustainability will continue to impact the U.S. paint and coatings market. Increasingly stringent government regulations will continue to drive heavy manufacturer investment  in the development of innovative, higher-value formulations, the report says.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Automotive coatings; Economy; High-performance coatings; Market forecasts

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