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US Furniture factory orders rise 10% in May; shipments up 7%

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2012-08-03   Source:PUWORLD   Browse:564

U.S. residential furniture factory orders in May were up 10% from the same month a year ago after a decline in April, Smith Leonard reported.

The rebound was expected, with some orders probably shifted from April to May because of the late April timing of this year's High Point Market, the accounting and consulting firm said.

Orders for the first five months of the year were up 4% from the same period of 2011, Smith Leonard said. Despite the May gain, that's a slowdown from the first quarter comparison, which was up 8% from a year earlier.

Shipments, which typically lag orders, were up 7% in May from a year ago and up 9% for the first five months of 2012.

"With shipments exceeding orders, backlogs have come down significantly," Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard, wrote in his monthly Furniture Insights newsletter. Backlogs in March were up 18% from March 2011, but by May they were only 5% higher than a year earlier.

"From what we have heard from most, we do not expect significant improvements in the June numbers," Smith added.

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