HIGH POINT, N.C. - Residential furniture orders posted double-digits gains in September, moving up 14 percent compared to the year prior, and 19 percent higher than August orders, according to the latest Furniture Insights survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors from Smith Leonard. This is the second straight month that's seen growth in the industry.

"In September, we had heard that business had picked up a bit, but the surprise to us was how much," said Ken Smith, managing partner. "While all of the participants were not up, we had numerous participants report healthy double digit increases for September. August new orders were up 5 percent over August 2015 after posting a 5 percent decline in July."

Year-to-date orders were up 2 percent compared to 2015.

September shipments were also up, approximately 7 percent compared to the same period in 2015, and up 3 percent from August, bringing year-to-date shipments up slightly, 1 percent, with those from a year ago. Backlogs increased 10 percent from August and were up 3 percent over September 2015, Smith reported

"Other than a couple of flat months, backlogs have been down compared to the same month a year earlier ever since September of 2015," he added.

Inventory levels also fell 1 percent from August, and dropped 2 percent compared to a year ago.

While Smith noted the results of this month's survey "were very promising," business may still be slow in some areas.

"With just over one-half of the participants showing no growth year-to-date, good times are not back for everyone," he said. "Based on a separate survey we do for a few case goods companies, the case goods business is nowhere near where it needs to be for many."



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