CHICAGO -- According to Reuters, U.S. office furniture growth slowed again in August, following months of erratic growth that analysts said was a sign that the market is moderating. Reportedly, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Assn. said industry orders rose 3% to $945 million compared to August 2005. According to BIFMA data, July showed a 13% growth versus the same period last year, which followed a 2% growth in June and erratic growth going back to March. BIFMA data also showed that shipments rose 12% in August to $970 million.

"The good news is that despite the noted inconsistency of recent months, growth remains positive and some of the weaker numbers can by explained away by seasonality and tough year-on-year comparables," Budd Bugatch, analyst for Raymond James, wrote in a research note. "The bad news is that...the expansive recovery of the latter half of 2005 and early 2006 appears to have moderated."

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