The world sporting goods market is a key one for the United States, with strong near-term growth potential and a market receptive to U.S. suppliers. The U.S. industry includes equipment for golf, fishing, tennis, physical fitness, gymnastics, archery, bowling, billiards, winter sports, and team sports but does not include camping equipment, athletic apparel and footwear, hunting equipment, or leisure related vehicles. U.S. output reached $7.3 billion in 1993. The industry is highly dependent on the availability of disposable personal income and a favorable debt-to-income ratio. U.S. exports reached an estimated $1.5 billion in 1993, an increase of 5 percent over 1992. A 13 percent increase was projected for 1994. The largest total markets in 1993 were Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Argentina, Brazil, and Taiwan. The fastest growing markets were as follows, showing average annual growth:
The Philippines has been affected by the fitness craze sweeping the world, and this has sustained a demand for sporting goods. More people are turning to sports as a way of spending their leisure time, and Filipinos are becoming more health-conscious. American sports stars and U.S. sporting goods are much admired, but the import market has remained relatively weak because of the flat economy affecting the nation (Market Research Reports, 1994).
Golf in particular has become a growth industry in the Philippines. The local market is very dependent on imports because local production is limited and local products are sometimes more expensive than imported goods. The major sources for imported goods are Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. The U.S. accounted for 11 percent of total imports.
Golf equipment is a promising subsector of the sporting goods sector, and golf is a growing sport in the Philippines, as can be seen from the number of golf cours