Orders for residential furniture saw slower growth during November. While the orders continued a slow climb, seeing an increase of three percent compared to 2017. This means the residential furniture aspect of the woodworking industry has seen an 11-month streak of growth from year over year, according to a Furniture Insights survey focusing on residential furniture manufacturers and distributors.
A spokesperson for Smith Leonard explained that they expected to see a slowdown in orders during the last couple of months of 2018. He indicated that the three percent increase in sales seemed consistent with the expectations, they discovered orders in November 2017 were 11 percent higher than orders in November 2016. When the totals were considered, the prior year results had a higher impact on current year comparisons to the previous year because of the level of growth.
According to a report from Furniture Insights, the year-to-date orders for 2018 stayed 6 percent higher than orders for 2017. About 68 percent of those businesses that participated in the survey reported increased orders for the year in question. Shipments were also up for the comparison of year-over-year, which revealed a gain of 8 percent in November compared to 2017, showing an overall 3 percent increase for the year.
Other November Changes in Woodworking
The backlogs increased by one percent in November and receivable levels increased by 7 percent. Compared to October, inventories were flat, but 7 percent higher than November 2017. Both receivables and inventory stayed about the same as expected for the current business levels.
With orders seeing a 6 percent hike during 2018, and shipments also increasing, it seems as though the woodworking industry’s residential furniture segment had a decent year because 70 percent of those who participated in the survey reported increases in orders.
There are some concerns regarding how the government shutdown will affect the industry as will the tariff issue. Higher tariffs could lead to a decrease in orders and sales. While the growth was slower, at least there was growth. That is much better than in past years where the market saw no growth at all.