Furniture factory orders, shipments jump in January
March 29, 2013,
HIGH POINT — Furniture factories got off to a quick start this year as January orders were up 7% and shipments up 10% from the same month in 2012, Smith Leonard reported.
The accounting and consulting firm said its monthly survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors showed that 65% of participants reported higher orders, some by double digits.
The January gain was against a strong month in 2012, when orders were up 11% from 2011. This January also marked a turnaround from order declines in November and December.
"If there is any negative news to report this month, it is that based on our conversations, the positive results for January have not continued through February and March," Smith said. He said business may have been affected by continued stormy weather, and noted that consumer confidence took a hit in March with the federal spending sequester creating uncertainty about the economy.
But on the positive side, housing continues to rebound, he added. While there are some concerns that the recovery may be moving too fast, he said, "The good news is banks are still making sensible mortgage loans so we should not be concerned with another ‘bubble,' at least at this point."