New orders in March 2017 were up 12 percent over March 2016, according to our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors. The good news was that some 77 percent of the participants reported increases. The March increase brought year-to-date increase to 4 percent, up from 2 percent through February. Last year, new orders were even with 2015 first quarter. Shipments increased 6 percent with some 71 percent of the participants reporting increases. Shipments were up 17 percent over February, but some of that increase was likely due to more working days in the month. Last year, first quarter shipments were 2 percent higher than the first quarter of 2015.
Smith Leonard was recently featured in a blog post by Linville Team Partners on progressive commercial work spaces. Opened in May of 2016, our Winston-Salem office defies typical perceptions of the traditional CPA firm. Featuring graffiti art and a lime green shipping container as a reception desk, this space is light, bright, and airy with modern features. Our ability to use the common areas at our downstairs neighbor, Linville Team, fosters camaraderie and fun, especially during our Third Thursday happy hour social event for clients, community partners, and friends.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a long-standing income tax benefit that encourages employers to hire designated categories of workers who face significant barriers to employment. The credit, usually claimed on Form 5884, is generally based on wages paid to eligible workers during the first two years of employment.
According to our latest survey of residential furniture manufacturers and distributors, new orders in February were up 4 percent over February 2016 new orders. This increase brought the year-to-date increase up to a 2 percent increase after flat results in January. Year-to-date, orders were up for 58 percent of the participants. The good news was that orders in February were up for two-thirds of the participants.