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U.S. residential furniture factory orders in August up 9% over 2010

U.S. residential furniture factory orders in August were up 9% from the same month last year, a better than expected performance, according to Smith Leonard.

August 2011 furnitureFor the year to date, orders were up 5.5%, the accounting and consulting firm said. Through August of last year, orders were up 8% over 2009.

Ken Smith, managing partner of Smith Leonard, wrote in his monthly Furniture Insights newsletter that he believes the improved orders in July and August were "partially reflective of some price increases." About 56% of the participants in the firm's factory survey have reported increased orders for the year to date.

Shipments, which tend to lag orders, were up 3% in August and also were up 3% for the year to date.

Smith said that based on the survey, growth hasn't been across the board. Some manufacturers are up "very nicely" while others show sharp declines, some well into the double digits, he said.

He added that the October High Point Market appeared to exceed expectations, with "more actual order writing than we have heard in quite some time." He added, "As one market person described it, if you base it on a good, better, best market, his results would be in the better category."

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