Signs are pointing to the beginning of a U.S. floor coverings sales recovery. Catalina Research  estimates U.S. square foot sales is projected to increase by 2.5% in the first quarter of 2024. This  follows a 1.9% gain in the fourth quarter of 2023. Catalina came to this conclusion based on an  estimated 4.0% to 5.0% increase in U.S. floor coverings square foot imports in the fourth  quarter of 2023. This data was uncovered in the December issue of the Catalina Floor  Coverings Quarterly Update ( update/). These increases came after five quarters of declining square foot sales. 

An upturn in square foot floor coverings sales reflects a moderating decline in U.S. housing  demand. Total U.S. housing demand could decrease by only 3.8% in the first quarter of 2024  after a 7.5% decline in the fourth quarter of 2023. Housing demand dropped an average of  21.0% per quarter over the previous five quarters. The moderating decline in housing demand  reflects the halving of the decrease in existing home sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the  beginning of an upturn in new single-family home construction. Square foot sales also received  a boost from retailers re-stocking their inventories after 18 months of liquidating excess  inventories. 

However, there are many “ifs” if U.S. floor coverings sales can sustain a sales recovery for the  entire year. 

Manufacturer sales will strengthen further if retailers continue to add to inventories in  anticipation of increasing consumer demand. 

Consumer demand will increase if consumer sentiment continues to increase after a rise in  December, the first increase in four months. 

Consumer sentiment will continue to rise if the stock market remains on an upward trend. 

The stock market will remain on an upward trend if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates in  the spring. 

The Federal Reserve will cut interest rates if inflation continues to decline. 

The housing market will start a significant rebound if inflation and interest rates drop due to  pent up demand. 

And consumer floor coverings spending will turn positive if housing demand increases significantly. 

Consumer spending must recover from the sharp 2023 decline if total U.S. floor covering  manufacturer sales can increase during 2024.

See how these “ifs” could play out during 2024 in the Catalina Floor Coverings Outlook 2024  Report ( The  report uncovers the actions needed to outperform industry growth and increase market share over the next year. The report also provides a five-year forecast by product. In addition, the  report indicates how macro-economic trends will affect the builder, consumer, and commercial  markets. 

Contact Stuart Hirschhorn to discuss the findings in this and other pertinent Catalina Research  Floor Coverings Industry Reports or visit our website, click on the  title and review the contents and analyzes included in these in-depth industry investigations. 

Stuart Hirschhorn 

Director of Research 

Catalina Research, Inc. 

(561) 988-0853