Two reports released this month offer contrasting views of the furniture industry.
In one report, new furniture orders showed a 9 percent increase in August compared to the same month last year, the fourth consecutive month 2018 sales have bested 2017 sales.
According to the latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors by High Point-based accounting firm Smith Leonard PLLC, the August orders follow three consecutive months of 5 percent growth in new furniture orders. The survey also showed that roughly 70 percent of survey participants reported an increase in orders.
For the year, new furniture orders are up 6 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
“The results have shown relatively steady growth throughout the last several months,” said Ken Smith, author of the report. “While some conversations have discussed how business has slowed somewhat in the later part of the summer, the results of the survey have not shown that.”
Another report by Zacks, a U.S.-based securities research firm, suggests that, while the industry is poised for long-term gains from the robust economy, a solid job market and the consequent rise in disposable income, the near-term outlook will remain stagnant. The Zacks Furniture industry comprises manufacturers, designers and marketers of residential and commercial furnishings solutions. The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates dull near-term prospects.
The Zacks Furniture industry, which is an eight-stock group within the broader Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector, currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #237, which places it at the bottom 7% of 256 Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.