HIGH POINT, N.C. - Residential furniture orders rose 8% in October compared to the year prior, according to the latest Furniture Insights survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors from Smith Leonard. New orders were up for approximately 76% of the surveyed participants.
October's rebound in new orders followed the 10% drop recorded in September, the only down month to date albeit against a double-digit year-over-year comparison. Year-to-date, new orders increased 5% over last year, with shipments also up 5%.
October shipments rose 8% compared to the same period in 2016, with 76% of the participants reporting an increase. Backlogs increased 4% compared to September, but are down 2% compared to October 2016, Smith Leonard reported.
Receivables were up 1% compared to last year, which the report says, are in line with shipments. October 2017 inventories were 5% higher compared to 2016 and down 2% from September. "October levels seemed to get back in line with current business conditions," noted Ken Smith, managing partner at Smith Leonard.
"While business may not be as consistent as we would all hope for, overall, when we sit back and talk with most people, they do admit that business is not all that bad," Smith said. "Certainly that is not true for all, but as our survey showed a high percentage are showing some sort of growth and the vast majority of those reporting declining orders and shipments are not off a huge percentage."
He added, "The strong stock market continues to help people feel better about spending. And the housing markets continue to prove that people are feeling better about home buying in spite of low inventories and higher prices."
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