Slight Recovery Expected in German Market

July 30, 2008

Following a downturn in 2007 that exceeded many expectations, the German window market is expected to see about 1 percent growth in 2008, according to a new study by Interconnection Consulting. Italy saw a slight decline in 2007 and is expected to slip again in 2008.

Following a short-lived boom that increased window sales 6.4 percent in 2006, the German market declined 7.4 percent in 2007. Researchers point to cancellation of a government subsidy for condominiums, as well as an increase in the nation’s value-added tax, combining to produce lower volumes in the residential market. The nonresidential sector held up better, enabling aluminium windows to enjoy gains while vinyl products decreased 14 percent.

In Italy, the Vienna-based market research firm reports window market declines of 1.4 percent for 2007 and an expected 1.2 percent for 2008. The renovation sector is predicted to grow, however, because of tax changes.

Although the outlook for the European window market may not appear to be bright, long-term growth in demand for living space, combined with heightened needs for energy savings, offers some promise for window manufacturers, the firm states.

Information on the market reports for Germany and Italy, as well as many other European countries is available by contacting Susanna Laurencik at laurencik@interconnectionconsulting.com.