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Emerging global industry will help grow plumbing sales

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Global demand for plumbing fixtures and fittings is forecast to increase 6.2% annually over the next five years, according to a report from the Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm. 

The increase in demand, which will reach $80 billion in the year 2016, is expected to be driven by two main factors. In industrializing countries of the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, rising per capita incomes will fuel desire for more and beter plumbing products. In developed countries such as the United States, Canada and those in Western Europe, an expected recovery in construction spending will generate demand.

The Asia/Pacific region will see the most rapid growth in demand, primarily fueled by China’s increasing, albeit decelerating, rate of industrialization. China alone is forecast to account for one-half of the increase in global plumbing demand generated between 2011 and 2016. The country’s vast population makes infrastructure and sewage system development a necessity, supporting demand by households that previously did not have a piped water supply. Other industrializing countries in Asia, such as India and Indonesia, and in the Africa/Mideast region, will also contribute to overall plumbing product demand.

North America is forecast to post the second fastest regional growth in plumbing product demand through 2016, primarily driven by the rebound in the U.S. construction market after the downturn during the global financial crisis. Canada and Mexico are also expected to post healthy gains. 

The slowest plumbing product demand growth is anticipated in Western Europe, primarily due to the region’s mature building infrastructure and slow population growth, which combine to limit building construction activity. However, the pace is expected to accelerate from what was registered between 2006 and 2011. While construction expenditures in this region are predicted to grow at the slowest rate globally, they will reflect a recovery from a low 2011 base. 


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