HIGH POINT, N.C. - For many residential furniture manufacturers and distributors, December 2016 was a good month, according to a new report from Smith Leonard. New orders were up 11 percent over December 2015 and for the year, new orders were up 3 percent over 2015.

Shipments were also strong, up 15 percent over December 2015 bringing the percentage for the year to a 1 percent increase over 2015, when shipments were up 6 percent over 2014. Only about 43 percent of the participants reported increased shipments for the year. The good news was that some 61 percent of the participants reported increased shipments for the month.

Backlogs fell 8 percent from November as shipments exceeded new orders while receivables and inventory levels remained in good shape.

Factory and warehouse employee levels seemed in line with current business. Factory and warehouse payrolls were up in December but that was likely the result of the strong orders and shipments, the report said.
 

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