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April furniture factory orders drop 24% from March

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2012-07-02   Source: PUWORLD   Browse:555

U.S. residential furniture factory orders in April were down 24% from March, ending a six-month hot streak of double digit month-to-month gains, Smith Leonard reported.

New orders in April were 13% lower than April 2011.

Smith Leonard reported that the decline was probably due to the fall of market dates this year, with 2011's early April date meaning orders written after market were tallied in the survey last year.

This April's later market date meant that mainly orders taken during market were counted in the survey. Smith Leonard reported a second factor was softening business.

With the April drop, year-to-date orders are now up only 3% versus 8% reported through March.

The report said shipments in April 2012 were up 7% over the same month last year.

The report added that due to shipments exceeding backlogs in April, backlogs fell 5% from March but remained 3% ahead of last year.

Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard, said in his monthly Furniture Insights newsletter that the furniture industry seems to be moving along similar to the economy in general.

"We do believe, though, that business at retail seemed to slow somewhat either in
mid-March or early April. We heard much of that at market, and since then business at retail has seemed a bit sluggish," he said.

"Business is not as good as we would like, but it really doesn't seem too bad either," he said.

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