HIGH POINT, NC - New orders in May 2013 were 6 percent higher than May 2012 orders, according to our recent survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. New orders in May were 13 percent higher than April 2013. May 2012 new orders were 10 percent higher than May 2011, so the May results were good considering they were compared to a good previous period.

Orders were up for 68 percent of the participants, down from 80 percent reported last month. Year-to-date, new orders were 4 percent higher than the first five months of 2012, up from 3 percent reported last month. Approximately two-thirds of the participants have reported increased orders so far this year, down slightly from 71 percent last month

Shipments in May were up 3 percent over May 2012 and up 9 percent over April 2013. As with last month, the results for shipments were a mixed bag for participants with only 53 percent of the participants reporting increased shipments. Year-to-date, shipments were up 2 percent over the same period a year ago. Backlogs were 8 percent higher than May 2012 up from a 6 percent increase reported last month as orders exceeded shipments.

Receivable levels in May were about even with May 2012 but were up 6 percent from April levels. With shipments up 3 percent from last year and 9 percent from April, the receivable results were very much in line. In fact, receivable levels continue to look very good overall.

Inventories increased 1 percent over April and were also 1 percent higher than May 2012. So inventories appear to be in line with current business conditions.

"The last couple of month’s results of our survey have been pretty good, yet from what we hear on the street, no one seems overly excited." said Smith Leonard's Kenneth Smith. "At least we can continue to say we are improving, as slow as it seems."

Source: Smith Leonard

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