Furniture and bedding retail sales increased an estimated 2.7% this year, reaching $104.8 billion. In 2015,retail sales totaled $102 billion, 3.9% over 2014 sales of $98.2 billion. These furniture and bedding sales figures are Furniture Today’s migeof market research estimates, based on personal consumption expenditure data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
As in recent years, 2016 economic indicators have been a mixture of both good and bad. One good economic sign is U.S. household income levels that are up for the first time since the recession. The real median household income for 2015 was up 5.2% to $56,516 from the 2014 median income of $53,718, according to the latest information from the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2015 real median income office desk is 1.6% below the median income of $57,423 in 2007, the year before the recession. The in crease in median income was seen across all characteristics including region, age, and race and ethnicity. Sales for housing have seen improvement. Through September, new home sales have increased 3.1% from August to 593,000, an increase of 29.8% over September 2015. Existing home sales rose strongly in September by 3.2% to 5.47 million, with an increase in closings for all major regions. Unemployment has seen little change since August 2016. Unemployment levels are at 5% for September 2016, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.9 million,also changed little. Conversely, Consumer Confidence recently declined. After rising 2.3% in September to 103.5 on the index, an increase for the second consecutive office partition month and the highest level since the recession, it fell in October to 98.6.