14157 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 12:30pm
HIGH POINT, N.C.–The Department of Commerce has released a new business census series on domestic furniture production, with numbers decidedly different from the last series released with 2002 shipment data, and that is causing the furniture industry association to restate all its shipment data.
A monthly series of domestic furniture shipment estimates from the American Home Furnishings Alliance had been benchmarked to the 2002 census numbers and updated regularly using the best available information from a sample of domestic furniture manufacturers. However, the AHFA has had to restate the shipment results from 2002 to 2006 as a result of the new census data from the Commerce Department, the group said.
For instance, the new census data shows a domestic wood furniture base of $8.5 billion for 2006, down from the $13.4 billion reported last year using the old series. Domestic upholstery shipments are also lower at $9.9 billion, rather than the $12.2 billion originally reported.
“Clearly these numbers are dramatically different, but they better reflect the changes the residential furniture industry has faced this decade, especially the severe downsizing of many furniture manufacturers, the closing of hundreds of furniture factories and the growing movement to sell imported furniture,” Wallace W. “Jerry” Epperson, managing director at Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Richmond, Va., said in the AHFA statement.
Using statistics from the International Trade Administration, residential wood furniture imports grew from $7.6 billion in 2002 to $10.8 billion in 2006, a 42.9 percent increase. In proportion to the new domestic shipment number, imports represented 63 percent of all wood furniture sold in the United States in 2006.
For upholstered furniture, total imports grew 94.8 percent from 2002 to 2006, to $3.1 billion. Against the restated domestic upholstery shipments, imports represented 28.5 percent of the U.S. market in 2006.
AHFA said it strives to provide the best available information to its membership and the home furnishings industry, and felt it was important to explain the changes.