Orders for residential furniture through November 2018 remained 6 percent ahead of 2017, according to the latest survey released by Smith Leonard. The High Point, N.C., accounting and consulting firm includes a furniture practice group headed by partner Ken Smith.
“Based on recent conversations, we had expected to see a bit of a slowdown in new orders in the last couple of months of the year,” the monthly report’s executive summary states. “The results of our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors indicated a 3 percent increase in new orders in November compared to November 2017. This increase followed a 7 percent increase reported in October and 9 percent increases in September and August.”
The report notes that the November increase seems small but was somewhat distorted because November 2017 orders were so strong – 11 percent over November 2016.
Two-thirds of November 2018 survey participants reported increased orders for the year, Smith Leonard said. Furniture shipments were 8 percent higher than November 2017. Year-to-date, shipments were 3 percent ahead of 2017.
Also: “Factory and warehouse payrolls and the number of factory and warehouse employees continue to be in line with the current business conditions. The number of employees was down a bit from last year, but the total payrolls were up over the last year.”