HIGH POINT — New factory orders for residential furniture grew 9% in August compared to the same period last year, and are 6% higher than July 2011, according to Smith Leonard PLLC’s recent survey of manufacturers and distributors.

New orders for the year to date are up 5.5% over last year, the accounting and consulting firm said. “Approximately 56% of the participants have reported increased orders over last year,” wrote Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard in his monthly column. He added, “We continue to believe that the results for July and August were partially reflective of some price increases.”

According to the survey, August shipments were up 3% compared to the same month last year, and also 3% ahead of 2010 for the year to date. Approximately 60% of the participants reported increases in their year-to-date shipments.

“As has been the case, participation in growth has not been across the board as there are participants that are up very nicely, versus some who continue to show sharp declines, some well into double digits,” Smith said.

He noted, however, that optimism in the market appears to be growing, following an October High Point Market that exceeded expectations. “This market we heard more actual order writing than we have heard in some time,” Smith added in his monthly report.

 

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