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Furniture factory orders up 6% in October

 Factory Table October 2012

HIGH POINT — Furniture factory orders in October were 6% ahead of the same month in 2011, marking the sixth consecutive monthly increase, according to the latest survey by the accounting and consulting firm Smith Leonard.

The survey showed that orders for the first 10 months of 2012 were 5% ahead of the first 10 months of 2011, and noted that 72% of the survey participants had increased orders for the reporting period.

In addition, October shipments were 5% ahead of October 2011, order backlogs jumped 15%, receivables were up 6% and inventories were up 8%, according to the survey.

"The results of our recent survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors were once again positive," Smith Leonard managing partner Ken Smith wrote in his monthly Furniture Insights newsletter. "It does not appear that inventories are significantly out of line with current volume levels, but they will need to be watched."

Smith noted that while consumer confidence took a big hit, housing prices are increasing while inventories of unsold homes are decreasing.

"This has definitely been needed by the industry," Smith wrote. "If we could only match this up with (consumer) confidence, things would be so much better."

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