Furniture Is An Excellent Prognosticator of the State of the Economy- Uh Ohby Matthew Isaacson
Furniture sales are still in the doldrums and it is apparent that no one knows what to expect in national furniture sales. The summer has not produced any confidence that the economic environment will improve- a necessity for consumers and businesses to unlock their wallets.
Nonetheless, BIFMA (The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association) has predicted a .5 percent drop for all 2010 North American Sales, which is an improvement of its earlier May estimate suggesting a 5.1 percent drop. Fortunately second quarter results came in stronger than expected. Along with a prediction of 2 percent growth in the 3rd and 4th quarters, this has helped improve BIFMA's forecast. First quarter shipments declined a dismal 11 percent, but grew an unexpected 3.6 percent April to June. BIFMA's predicted 2011 shipping output is now 6.7 percent, to 8.33 billion.
Apparently, the deluge of regulations from the Federal Government, the uncertainty of increased taxation and hidden stumbling blocks for business embedded in the recently passed medical plan and the ongoing housing catastrophe are all discouraging business growth. A healthy furniture industry remains a key indicator of the health of our economy.
Matthew Isaacson is a partner at Haskell New York Inc., a company which sells office supplies and furniture
through its web site OfficeSalesUSA.com
Posted in: Business
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