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10 Industries On Life Support

Manufactured-home dealers
Manufactured-home dealers stand out from all industries in IBISWorld's database, van Beek says, for having some of the steepest declines.

"The coming forecast period is demonstrating no signs of anything positive," he says.

This industry saw a 73.7% revenue decline since 2000, according to IBISWorld. It is forecast to see its revenue, now about $4.5 billion, drop another 62% by 2016.

Multiple pressures are hurting this industry and, in turn, companies such as Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Clayton Homes. Demand is dwindling, sustaining profit is very difficult and there has been stagnation.

"It hasn't really just been the past few years that they have declined," van Beek says. "It has been many years now. They are quite possibly the hardest hit of all. The industry has just been getting smaller and smaller each year because demand has been dwindling."

"During the past decade, operators have experienced very little product change," the IBISWorld report says, singling out a self-induced factor for the decline. "Manufacturers have made cosmetic changes to manufactured homes, but they have not been significant enough to alter their life cycle stage."

"The industry just hasn't been able to evolve and is ultimately dying a slow death," van Beek says.

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