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'But stakeholders remain watchful'

US furniture industry maintains resilience amid economic headwinds

In June 2024, the Furniture Insights report by Smith Leonard highlighted notable trends and economic indicators affecting the furniture industry in the United States. New orders for furniture surged by 22% in April 2024 compared to the same month last year, marking continued growth for 10 out of the last 11 months. However, this increase was an outlier from recent months, with year-to-date orders up 8% compared to 2023.

Shipments, on the other hand, began to stabilise with a 2% increase year-over-year in April 2024, yet were down 1% from March 2024. Year-to-date shipments showed a decline of 9% compared to the previous year.

The broader economic landscape showed mixed signals. Consumer confidence, as measured by The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, slightly dipped to 100.4 in June from 101.3 in May. There was still an increase in consumer spending, but furniture sales were down 0.1% in May 2024, and down 6.8% from May 2023.

Photo: Dreamstime

Looking ahead, the report cautiously anticipated potential economic shifts, including possible interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve and improvements in housing activity. Challenges such as fluctuating container rates and inflation concerns persisted, but were expected to ease in the latter half of the year.

Overall, while the furniture industry has maintained resilience amid economic headwinds, stakeholders remain watchful of consumer sentiment, housing market dynamics, and broader economic indicators that could influence future business outcomes.


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