New furniture orders increased 7 percent in December compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors by High Point-based accounting firm Smith Leonard PLLC.
Ken Smith, author of the report, said December marked the 12th straight month of positive comparison to the previous year.
As a result, new orders for the year increased 6 percent, up from a 4 percent increase reported last year.
Smith noted that he’s heard discussion from those in the industry that November and December had been slower, and a 3 percent increase in November orders confirmed as much.
December’s increase in new orders was “a bit surprising,” Smith said, but only 45 percent of survey participants reported an increase in orders in December, so “it was a month of very good results for some but not so great for all.”
Shipments in December 2018 remained flat compared to December 2017.
For 2018, shipments were up 3 percent over 2017, with 66 percent of participants reporting increased shipments on the year.
Delays on additional tariffs have proven beneficial for the furniture industry, Smith said, but noted a more definite timeline on potential new tariffs would prove helpful.
“Lots of production has been moved around with a lot of trouble, and some more adjusting may be needed,” Smith said. “It would be nice to know if and when more adjustments may be needed.”
Original Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/