HIGH POINT, NC – Accounting and consulting firm, Smith Leonard said that for the ninth consecutive month, U.S. residential furniture factory orders and shipments in March were down compared to the same month last year, according to Kids Today. Orders were down 4% from March 2006 and shipments were down 6%. For the first quarter of 2007, orders were down 5% and shipments off 6% from the beginning of 2006.
Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard, said the industry had healthy gains in early 2006 and that the decline this year has brought factories back to the level of the first quarter of 2005. In the latest quarter, 74% of participants in the company’s factory survey reported lower shipments than a year earlier. Smith said it was “the highest percentage of participants reporting decreases for extended periods of time in recent memory.”
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