HIGH POINT, NC- New orders in May 2015 increased 5 percent over May 2014 orders and were up 5 percent over April, according to the latest survey of manufacturers and distributors by High Point accounting and consulting firm Smith Leonard. Last month, Smith Leonard noted that the 3 percent increase was impacted by early market dates in 2013. This year, the comparison was not that great in terms of dates of market.
According to the latest issue of Furniture Insights, the 5 percent year-to-date increase in orders should be fairly representative of current business. Some 55 percent of the participants reported increased orders year-to-date so clearly all participants are not enjoying the increases. "It should be noted, that the swings from high growth to higher decreases has narrowed for the most part from the last few years," said Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard.
Assuming market orders were mostly in by the end of May, it's probable that year-to-date orders would now be comparable. Year-to-date orders in this survey reflected a 5 percent increase for the first five months. In 2014, year-to-date orders were 5 percent higher than the first five months of 2013.
Inventories while flat with April 2014, were up 7 percent over May 2014, down from 8 percent reported last month. According to Smith Leonard, "inventories seem to be at pretty good levels considering business conditions."

Factory and warehouse employees were 2 percent higher than reported in May 2014. This was down slightly from the 3 percent reported last month. May levels were flat with April 2015 levels.

Factory and warehouse payrolls were up 7 percent over May 2014 levels and were up 6 percent year-to-date. Payrolls in May 2014 year-to-date were up 6 percent over the same period in 2013, so payrolls continue to increase along with the increased business.


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