HIGH POINT, NC -  New household furniture orders rebounded in May, benefiting from the later dates of the Spring High Point Market, according to Smith Leonard's monthly survey of furniture makers and distributors.

May's gain put new orders up by 4% for the year, compared to the first five months of 2011.

The lateness of the High Point Market, held April 21-26, was viewed as the leading cause for a 13% drop in new orders in April by Smith Leonard, an accounting and consulting firm specializing in residential furniture. Smith Leonard added that "while the timing of Market did have some impact, the results confirmed what we had been hearing about the slower business conditions in April and May."

Shipments of household furniture climbed 7% in May compared to May 2011. Shipments for the year are running 9% ahead of the first five months of last year, Smith Leonard said.

Smith Leonard said it expects to see modest gains at best in June. "From what we have heard from most, we do not expect to see significant improvements in the June numbers," Smith Leonard said. "We seem to be just moving along somewhat like the economy, which does not have many bright spots."

If there is a bright spot, however, Smith Leonard said it is housing, not only in terms of increased new-home construction, but stabilization of existing home prices."Once homeowners think the market has improved, we may see more come on the market, though it is doubtful these prices will return to pre-recession levels," Smith Leonard said.

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