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Furniture Sales Undergo Hiccup

A survey of manufactured furniture orders shows that after falling 10% in September 2017 compared to September 2016, new orders in October increased 8% over October 2016.

Reported at the end of December this comes from the most recent survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors, called Furniture Insights, that is conducted each month by the Smith Leonard accounting and consulting firm.

Year to date, new orders were up 5% over the same period a year ago, and up from 4% reported last month. About 67% of the survey participants have now reported increased orders year to date. This was up from 61% who earlier reported increases through September.

“We hear from time to time that ‘retail is slow’ but the national retail reports do not indicate that,” noted Smith Leonard Partner Kenneth D. Smith.

“So, as we continue to talk with our clients the key is to have most of those retailers as customers who are keeping the national numbers up.”

He also pointed out that Mastercard reported a 5.1% increase in home furniture and furnishings sales during the holiday selling season.

In addition, shipments increased 8% over October 2016, following increases of 4% in September, 5% in August, and 10% in July, all compared to the same monthly numbers from the previous year.

Shipments for October were up for 76% of the participants. Year to date, shipments were up 5% over the first 10 months of the year with some 69% of the participants reporting increases.

Backlogs in October increased 4% over September as the dollar amount of orders exceeded the dollar amounts of shipments. Compared to October 2016, backlogs were down 2% in October 2017.

Factory and warehouse employee numbers and payroll also seemed in line with payrolls up only 2% percent year to date. The number of employees also was level compared to October 2016.

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