U.s. Office Furniture Orders Up 2 Pct - Trade Group
NEW YORK, Feb 5 (Reuters) - U.S. office furniture orders shrank further in December, continuing a trend toward slower growth, an analyst said. December orders grew 2 percent year-over-year to $875 million, which was a 3 percent drop from $900 million in November, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) said. Shipments also decelerated sequentially, rising 5 percent to $1.01 billion compared with November's 8 percent increase, according to BIFMA data. The data from 2006, which averages out to year-over-year order growth of 7 percent per month, stands in contrast to the 11 percent average in 2005, Raymond James analyst Budd Bugatch wrote in a research note. Strong double-digit growth between November 2005 and March 2005 fueled profits at such companies as Steelcase Inc.