In June 2014, new furniture orders increased 5% over June 2013, according to Smith Leonard survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors published on Aug. 28.
New orders fell 8% from May, which was somewhat typical as we move into summer and holidays, the accounting and consulting firm said.
New orders increased for 65% of the survey participants, up from 53% reported in May and down from 77% reported in April.
Year-to-date, new orders remained 5% ahead of the first half of 2013. Approximately 60% of participants reported increased orders for the first half of the year – the same percent reported for the same period last year.
Shipments were 4% higher in June 2014 versus June 2013 and up slightly from May. Shipments were up for approximately 70% of survey participants, up from 61% reported last month.
For the first half of the year, shipments were up 6% over the prior year, the same as were reported for the first five months. Shipments were up for 68% of survey participants year-to-date, about the same as reported last month.
Inventory levels were up 9% over June 2013 after increasing 1% from May, and were up 7% over May 2013. The 9% increase seems a bit high with orders up 5% and shipments up 6%, but the June results may be timing due to preparation for the July 4th shutdown,Smith Leonard Reported.
“Overall, the economic picture seems good for business, though here is still much negative news in the media,”said Managing Partner Ken Smith.
“We are also hearing that commercial furniture business continues to improve as construction and refurbishments in that sector have picked up,” he added.
“We do see that the upholstery business seems better than case goods, but overall we are pleased to see the consistent improvement in orders and shipments, with the other key indicators pretty much in line.”