Michael A. Dunlap & Associates, LLC has announced the results of the July 2012 edition of its quarterly MADA/OFI Trends Survey, which is designed to measure the current business activity of the office furniture industry and its suppliers.
The July 2012 Overall Survey Index is 54.58 compared to 52.62 in the last survey in April 2012.
“Although we are seeing an increase, it is still quite modest. The Overall Index continues to remain well above “50” and it indicates that the industry is still on solid ground and on a positive track.” Mike Dunlap commented.
The July 2012 survey highlights are:
Gross Shipments measured 60.19, significantly higher than the 33 Survey Averages of 57.69 and Order Backlog recorded 58.27, also higher than the 33 Survey Average of 56.63.
The Employment Index rose to 53.33 above the 33 Survey Average of 51.63. The Hours Worked Index increased to 54.29, but is below the 33 Survey Average of 55.50.
The Capital Expenditures declined to 53.27 and but Tooling Expenditures improved to 55.11. These compare to their 33 Survey Averages of 55.31 and 54.46.
New Product Development declined to 60.38 but is just below the 33 Survey Averages of 63.40.
Raw Material Costs improved to 48.98, but is much better than the 33 Survey Average is 43.58. Employee Costs improved to 47.31. The 33 Survey Average is 46.92.
The Personal Outlook Index slipped from 56.31 to 54.29 and is below the 33 Survey averages of 56.51. “The rebound in Gross Sales and Order Backlog index values are a good sign, as both have been declining during the past three quarters," Dunlap said. "I am very happy to see the improvements in the Employment or Hours Worked index values. Both manufacturers and suppliers seem to be increasing their payrolls and production schedules.
“The declines in Capital Expenditures and New Product Development are very modest and a bit disconcerting to me. We will watch this closely through the rest of this year.
“I am excited to see the improvements in Raw Material Cost and Employee Cost index values. They are always a concern and rarely show much improvement. Although still in the 40s, they remain fairly steady. The decline of the index in Personal Outlook is bit discouraging.”
The majority of the respondents continue to cite increased energy costs, transportation costs, material costs, the general economy, and increased health care costs as the “largest cost threats to the industry.”
The July 2012 MADA / OFI Trends survey was sent to more than 700 individuals involved with office furniture manufacturing and suppliers from Asia, Europe, North and South America and from companies ranging from more than $1 Billion in sales to less than $10 Million in sales. The survey repeats in October 2012. For further information, contact: Mike Dunlap at 616-786-3524, firstname.lastname@example.org www.mdunlap-associates.com. Michael A. Dunlap & Associates, LLC, is a consulting firm that focuses upon issues involving the working, learning, healing, and hospitality environments and furniture industries.
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