Despite global economic weakness during much of the five-year period to 2013, revenue in the global footwear manufacturing market has grown at an average rate of 4.2% per year to $113.6 billion. Global per capita income has trended upward, supporting consumer purchases of shoes in the long term. Moreover, demand from emerging nations propped the industry up even when spending in the United States and Europe waned. The increasing purchasing power and the expanding number of affluent shoppers in the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have underpinned industry growth during the past five years. This, coupled with recovering demand in the United States will push industry revenue to grow 7.3% in 2013.
Trade is a significant portion of the Global Footwear Manufacturing industry, accounting for 71.0% of revenue in 2013. China is the single-largest exporter of footwear, specializing in low-cost, low-value options. In fact, North Asia is responsible for 70.0% of the industry's production volume. Operators in developed regions of the world, such as the United States and Europe, are primarily engaged in the design and marketing processes of shoe production due to the high-wage standards in these areas. Asia, however, presents a source of cost savings for operators because many companies outsource physical-manufacturing activities to offshore factories.
In the five years to 2018, the Global Footwear Manufacturing industry is forecast to perform even better than it did during the past five years. Rebounding developed economies will generate more demand for footwear, pushing revenue up at a projected average annual rate of 7.2% to $160.7 billion in the five years to 2018. As both Europe and the United States slowly recover from their recessions, revenue will also strengthen to show growth in the next two years. Profit will also expand as consumers increasingly seek out luxury footwear, which carries a high price tag.
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