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Furniture Industry Reports Are Mixed

According to the latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors by the Smith Leonard accounting firm, new orders in June were 5% higher than they were in June 2015.

June 2015 new orders were 10% higher than June 2014. But the results in total don’t tell the whole story, Smith Leonard says. About one-half of the participants reported increased orders, some significant double digit gains, while others reported significant declines in orders.

Year-to-date, new orders were just slightly ahead of last year’s first half of the year. Last year’s first half showed a 5% increase over the same period of 2014. Only about 42% of the participants posted order gains over last year for the six-month period.

Shipments were 2% higher in June versus June 2015, with slightly over one-half of the participants reporting increased shipments.

“As with orders, the variations were sizable with some up double digits and others off double digits,” Smith Leonard points out.

Year-to-date shipments were up slightly less than 1%. Just over 44% of participants reported increased shipments for the year to date.

Backlogs fell 3% from May due to shipments exceeding new orders. Backlogs were down 5% from June 2015. In May of this year backlogs were 6% lower than they were in May 2015.

Receivable levels fell 3% from June 2015 in spite of the increase in shipments of 2%. Receivable levels continue to be in very good shape in total as they have been for several months, Smith Leonard notes.

Inventories were up 3% over June 2015, down from a 6% increase reported in May. The company says it appears that inventories are slowly getting back in line with current business conditions.

The number of factory and warehouse employees was up 1% over June of 2015, but down from a 2% increase reported for June 2016. The number of employees fell 1% from May 2015 but payrolls were 2% higher than they were in June 2015.

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