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Casual furniture imports continue to grow

U.S. imports of outdoor furniture continued their climb, with an 11% increase in 2006 to nearly $1.6 billion compared with $1.4 billion in 2005, according to data from the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. International Trade Commission and Casual Living market research.

Looking at the four-year period from 2002–2006, the change was even more dramatic with an increase in imports of nearly 45%.

Still by far the leading source country, China's share grew from 67% to 70% or $1.1 billion. Over the past five years, China saw unprecedented amounts of foreign investment and the greatest number of domestic and foreign business acquisitions in its history. After decades of encouraging foreign investment, signals have been mixed since September 2006, when new restrictions were placed on foreign companies acquiring domestic Chinese enterprises.

Canada held its 7% ($119 million) share in 2006 and Indonesia kept its 5% ($81 million) share. The Philippines and Taiwan each slipped by one percentage point to 3% and 2% and all other source countries combined accounted for 12%, down from 13% in 2005.

For more information and graphics, see our Web site at www.casualliving.com.

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