HIGH POINT, N.C. - Residential furniture orders rose 6% in June compared to the year prior, following an 8% increase in May, according to the latest Furniture Insights survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors from Smith Leonard. New orders were up for approximately 60% of the surveyed participants.

Year-to-date, new orders increased 6% over last year, with shipments up 5% for the year-over-year.

June shipments rose 7% compared to the same period in 2016, and up 5% over May's figures, with almost 85% of the participants reporting an increase, "one of the highest percentages we have reported in quite some time," the report noted. Backlogs fell 4% compared to May, but are up 6% compared to June 2016, Smith Leonard reported. In May, backlogs were 11% ahead of the previous year.

Receivables were up 5% compared to last year, and about 2% up from May levels, which falls in line with 7% shipment increase experienced in June and the 5% year-over-year shipment increase, the report said. Inventory levels were up 3% from June 2016 and 1% over May 2017.

With consumer confidence remaining at a high level, the retail end shows sales at furniture and home furnishings stores in July were up slightly, 0.4%, from June, but were up 5.6% over July 2016. Year-to-date, sales  at those stores were up 3.8%.

"After a somewhat sluggish start to the year, following the kick we seemed to get after the election, our survey continues to show nice solid growth for the industry in the last four months," said Ken Smith, managing partner at Smith Leonard. "Certainly not everyone is participating but in general the results continue to be very positive."

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.