HIGH POINT, NC --  U.S. residential furniture manufacturers and distributors saw a 5 percent increase in new orders during the month of June.

Furniture Sales Increase 5% in June, Industry Report Finds June sales were up from a 3 percent increase in May, according to Smith Leonard, an accounting firm that publishes Furniture Insights, a review of the industry. In the firm’s report for June, new furniture orders remained 5 percent ahead of last year's first half of the year.

In addition to an increase in sales, shipments in June were 4 percent higher than the same time last year, with year-to-date shipments up 6 percent. Backlogs were down 6 percent from May as shipments exceeded orders. Backlogs were 10 percent higher than June 2013, down from 13 percent reported last month, the firm reported.

“We do see that the upholstery business seems better than case goods, but overall we are pleased to see the consistent improvement in orders and shipments, with the other key indicators pretty much in line,” the firm reported. “We are also hearing that commercial furniture business continues to improve as construction and refurbishments in that sector have picked up.”

Housing starts in July were up 15.7 percent over June and 21.7 percent over July 2013.

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