HIGH POINT, NC - For the first month since October 2007, new orders for residential furniture were not lower than the same month a year ago, according to the most recent survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors by Smith Leonard Accountants & Consultants.

The December issue of the firm’s Furniture Insights notes, “Admittedly, the October 2009 results compared to a 28 percent decline in October 2008 when comparing to October 2007. But at least, for one month, the bleeding appeared to stop. These results were pretty much what we had been hearing from our conversations."

Smith Leonard said new orders between January and October 2009 were 16% lower than the same period in 2008. Ninety-three percent of the survey participants reported lower orders compared to the same period a year ago.

Shipments in October were 10% lower than shipments in October 2008 and were off 4% from September. This compared to a 14% drop last month. Shipments in October 2008 were off 20% from October 2007. Year-to-date, shipments are off 18% from the same period a year ago. As with orders, 93% of the participants reported lower shipments than the first 10 months of 2008.

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