LONDON (Reuters) – While the global economy was still in a trough in March, it is now poised to return to its pre-crisis trajectory and business is set to grow at its fastest pace since the global financial crisis, according to data from Euromonitor International.
The latest data shows that office fashion is booming in the United States and other major markets, while demand is on the rise in Europe, the world’s most popular destination for office wear.
That trend is expected to continue in 2018 as the global economic recovery moves into its second year and businesses find it easier to afford new clothes.
The data from the Euromonitors office fashion agency showed that the global fashion market, which is estimated to have reached $2.6 trillion in sales in the first six months of 2018, is set for a massive expansion of around $900 billion by 2021.
Its expansion could help boost demand for office furniture and office furniture-related services, the agency said in its latest annual report.
It said office wear sales rose 7.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, reaching $1.85 trillion.
While some of the increase in sales was driven by the strong start of the year, the rise was driven largely by the rebound in office wear and office footwear sales in Japan and China.
“Sales of office wear, office footwear and office accessories are expected to be strong in 2018 and the sector will be in strong demand in 2021,” the agency’s chief economist, Alex Cairns, said in a statement.
“In 2018, the expansion in office apparel and office furnishings and footwear will likely continue.”
The biggest gainers from the surge in office fashion sales will be retailers, with office clothing-related revenues rising 18.6 percent to $1,917 billion.
Sales of furniture and other office furnishers also rose 7 percent in the quarter, to $2,095 billion.
However, the report also highlighted the challenges facing businesses as global demand for new office wear continues to be on the wane.
“The pace of growth in office clothing and office accessory sales in 2020 is likely to slow and, in 2021, office wear is expected be a relatively small share of total sales,” the report said.
“For the sector to grow in 2021 and beyond, more businesses are likely to need to increase their investments in office furniture or office furniture related services.”(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Stephen Powell)