Residential Furniture Market Continues Strengthening

Business in October was strong for residential furniture manufacturers and distributors based in the U.S., says a survey by consultant Smith Leonard. New orders in October increased over the same period from a year ago for the fifth straight month, increasing 40 per cent over October 2019. This increase followed a 43 per cent increase reported in September, 51 per cent in August, 39 per cent in July, and a 30 per cent increase in June after a three-month period of significant declines when the pandemic started. Seventy-seven per cent of the participants reported increased orders in October. The increase in October brought the year-to-date increase to 14 per cent, up from 11 per cent reported in September. For the 10 months ended October, orders were up for 59 per cent of the participants. It appears that imported goods are starting to flow as shortages of raw materials for domestic manufacturers have started to diminish, though prices of certain materials seem to be rising due to the shortages. As well, backlogs continued to rise as orders once again surpassed shipments. Backlogs at the end of October were 141 per cent higher than October 2019, again causing issues at the retail level.