CLEVELAND – U.S. demand for paint and coatings is forecast to expand 3.1 percent per annum to $23 billion in 2012. Volume gains are projected to accelerate from the sluggishness of the 2002-2007 period, when an economic slowdown, combined with high raw material costs and stringent environmental regulations, took a toll on the U.S. paint and coatings industry. The market share held by traditional solvent-based coatings will continue to erode as these products are replaced by water-based, high-solids, powders and other non-solvent coatings. Going forward, growth will be aided by an improved outlook for both construction and manufacturing activity. These and other trends are presented in “Paint & Coatings”, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc.

Architectural paint represents the largest segment of the overall paint and coatings market, accounting for approximately half of demand in both volume and value terms. The residential market will continue to account for the majority of architectural paint demand and will benefit from rebounding growth in residential construction activity, as well as a significant turnaround in new housing starts through 2012. Demand for interior paint will outpace demand for its exterior counterpart, as demand for the latter will be restrained by the ongoing popularity of siding materials. However, rapid growth in the use of fiber cement, a paintable siding material, will bode well for exterior paint demand.

The motor vehicle market will account for a significant portion of coating demand and will be supported by a projected rebound in motor vehicle production. Metal building components will be among the fastest growing of the manufacturing markets, with growth attributable to greater use of prefabricated metal building systems in the U.S. construction industry, particularly in nonresidential settings where the functionality and labor cost savings of these systems are most beneficial.

Maintenance and specialty coatings will account for approximately one-fifth of overall demand. Rebounding growth in highway maintenance expenditures will drive rapid advances in the road and bridge market.