The Business Times

US housing boom spurs Asia shipments

US imports of furniture, building materials from Asia up 6.3% in Jan-April

Published Sun, Jul 6, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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[TOKYO] Thanks to the US housing boom, Asian manufacturers are shipping the most furniture and building materials by containers in seven years.

US imports of furniture and building materials from Asia, destined for retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores and Target, rose 6.3 per cent in the first four months of the year, compared with a year earlier, to the most since 2007, according to Japan Maritime Centre figures.

Asian suppliers such as Li & Fung Ltd, which exports home furnishings, tableware and handicraft, are benefiting from a rebound in the US economy as payroll gains and stable borrowing costs at historically low levels boost American confidence to purchase homes. That demand is helping to drive imports of sofas and beds to furnish houses and building materials and plastics used in construction.

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