Slow start to year for US furniture and cabinet businesses

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Furniture manufacturers reported contraction in February according the Institute for Supply Management’s survey (Manufacturing ISM Report On Business). Wood product manufacturing was unchanged from January, while most other manufacturing industries in the US reported growth.

For 2017, new furniture orders were up 4% over 2016 according to the Smith Leonard survey of US residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. Furniture shipments also increased 4% in 2017 from the previous year.

2018 started with lower sales by furniture retail and by cabinet manufacturers. Retail sales at furniture stores were down in January from the previous month, according to US Census preliminary figures, but sales increased 5% compared to January 2017.

Cabinetry sales were down 3% in January compared to the same month in 2017 based on the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association’s Trend of Business Survey. For 2017, US cabinet manufacturers reported a 3% increase in sales.

Rise in wooden furniture imports from Indonesia and India

Wooden furniture imports grew 1% in January to US$1.69 billion. Imports were 6% higher than in January 2017. Imports from China and Malaysia were slightly down in January, but most other countries increased exports to the US.

The highest growth rate was in imports from Indonesia and India – both month-on-month and compared to the same time last year. Italy also expanded its furniture shipments to the U.S.

Despite the overall growth in wooden furniture imports, imports of office and upholstered seating furniture declined in January. The strongest growth was in nonupholstered seating.

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