8-3-2021 – Furniture orders keep outpacing shipping

Posted on: August 3rd, 2021 by admin

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August 3, 2021

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By Guy Lucas guylucas@newstopicnews.com

Aug 2, 2021

 

The long list of problems confronting furniture manufacturers could lead a person to think the industry’s recent good fortunes might be waning.

 

But there is no sign of slowing in the growth of new orders, according to the latest Furniture Insights report from consulting and accounting firm Smith Leonard.

 

Orders for the first five months of 2021 were up 67% from the same period last year, though the COVID-19-related shutdowns of March and April 2020 stunted orders last year, but also were up 36% from the same period in 2019, the report said.

 

“These results show that business really has continued to be positive,” the report said.

 

But myriad problems continue bedeviling the industry and preventing manufacturers from fulfilling all of those new orders in a timely way.

 

“There have been continued issues with lack of labor and acquiring raw materials, primarily foam for upholstery, as well as … (wood, plywood, metal and some fabrics). Also, issues with imports due to labor and other problems in countries where factories are not back up and running are keeping companies from being able to get backlogs down,” the report said. “Adding to those are problems with freight, whether it be lack of containers, port delays, or even trucking issues in the states.”

 

COVID-19 continues causing shutdowns in other countries, many with much lower vaccination rates than the U.S., contributing to problems for importers. The report mentions the closure of several furniture factories in Vietnam.

 

New orders keep coming in faster than manufacturers can fill them, so backlogs in May had grown to 214%, more than triple, what they were in May 2020.

 

But the report notes that surveys of consumer confidence in the economy find it remains high, and consumers continue to say they expect to make major purchases, include housing, vehicles and major appliances.

 

“Thus, consumer spending should continue to support robust economic growth in the second half of 2021,” the report said.

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