Housing downturn isn't over for suppliers, experts warn

February 22, 2007

Appliance makers and other suppliers to the housing industry might feel the ripple effect of the housing downturn through the end of this year, according to a Bloomberg report.

Sales of new and existing houses fell nearly 10 percent last year, though many observers believe the worst is over for the sales decline. The industry, which accounts for about 23 percent of the U.S. economy, has shed about 100,000 jobs.

However, furniture manufacturers and other industries that rely on house sales will likely be downsizing for months to come. Total job cuts across the industry could rival levels not seen since the 1991 housing slump, said Raymond James & Associates Managing Director Paul Puryear.

Much of Indiana’s manufacturing base is tied to housing, and the state hasn’t been immune to the layoffs. Delta Faucet, which is headquartered in Carmel, laid off 70 full-time employees at its Greensburg faucet plant, and Collis Inc., an Arkansas-based maker of refrigerator shelving, plans to close its Evansville plant in March, throwing 160 out of work.

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