In 2011, U.S. consumption of coatings is projected to be 1.4 million gal, containing 7.8 billion lbs of solids, worth $23 billion, according to a soon to be released study by the consulting firm Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney. The industry reportedly saw its peak consumption in 2006 and has only partially recovered from the lows of the 2008-2009 recession. In 2011, coating solids remain down 18% from the 2006 peak. A 1.5% annual rate of increase is forecast for coating solids through 2016.

Coating consumption in dollars is only 3% lower compared to 2006 because of the sharp rise in prices during 2010-2011. Coating raw material price escalation has only partially been passed along by the coating producer, and margins have come under pressure.

Architectural coatings are the largest segment with some 3.9 billion lbs of solids, worth $9.1 billion expected to be consumed in 2011. New house production remains at extremely depressed levels and home sales have yet to recover to hoped-for levels. Coating demand from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in 2011 is projected at 1.98 billion lbs of solids, valued at nearly $8 billion. OEM coatings have rebounded strongly since the recession, but many end uses are still down significantly from 2006. Special-purpose coating consumption in 2011 is expected to be 1.95 billion lbs of solids, with a sales value of $6 billion. Roofing, industrial maintenance and traffic paint are the large volume outlets; the decline in commercial construction and reduced spending by state and local governments is a drag on consumption.

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