U.S. Furniture Industry Off to a Good Start
By Rich Christianson | Posted: 04/08/2013 11:16AM
HIGH POINT, NC - The U.S. residential furniture industry got off to a promising start for 2013, with new orders and shipments in January up 7% and 10% respectively over January 2012.
The High Point-based furniture consulting and accounting firm noted that January 2013's new orders and shipments reversed declines reported in November and December of last year. In spite of those late year drops, Smith Leonard said furniture orders increased 4% and shipments by 6% in 2012 vs. 2011.
In its April issue of Furniture Insights, Smith Leonard notes that receivables, inventory levels and factory and warehouse employee payrolls "appear to be in good shape."
"If there is any negative news to report this month, it is that based on our conversations, the positive results for January have not continued through February and March," Smith Leonard said. "We do think business slowed somewhat in February and March. But to some degree, with the crazy weather we have seen across much of the nation, we probably should have expected mixed results."
While noting that consumer confidence waned in March, Smith Leonard noted, "housing continues to give confidence as it continues to rebound at a pace that probably exceeded our expectations. While that could concern some that housing is moving too fast, it is likely more pent up demand that is causing the fast recovery. The good news is banks are still making sensible mortgage loans so we should not be concerned with 'bubble,' at least at this point."
About the Author
Rich ChristiansonRich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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