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US Consumer durables industry outlook turns positive

While the strong US dollar will remain a headwind for US global operators, Moody’s revises outlook for US Consumer durables industry to positive.

us consumer durables industryMoody’s Investors Service has revised its outlook on the US consumer durables industry to positive from stable to reflect the impact of cost savings, modest improvements in select emerging markets, low commodity costs and strength in housing market-related spending.

Moody’s forecasts that operating profits in the sector will grow 5%-6% over the next 12-18 months, up from its prior forecast of 4%-5%, based on expectations that margins will expand by around 150 basis points. Consumer durable revenue will increase about 3% over the same time period.

Home-product companies will dominate growth, spurred by the housing market recovery and increased spending demand among middle income consumers. The home-products and mattress subsectors account for over half of the consumer durables industry’s revenue and operating profit, led by Whirlpool.

Gains in the housing market and relatively strong consumer confidence will help drive discretionary spending by affluent consumers, benefiting companies that sell high-end discretionary products. However, outside of home-related purchases, spending trends for mid-tier and lower-income consumers will remain modest due to macroeconomic uncertainties and high food and healthcare costs” said Kevin Cassidy, a Moody’s VP-SR Credit Officer.

While the strong US dollar will remain a headwind for US global operators, profits will be boosted by companies’ cost-cutting initiatives and acquisitions, low oil costs and the stabilization of some emerging markets.

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