(Bloomberg) -- US consumers looking to furnish their homes or apartments with new dining- and living-room sets may want to hold off for a while longer.
That’s because a report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed wholesale inventories of furniture are piling up as sales dropped for a second month. Excluding the pandemic, the wholesale inventory-to-sales ratio for furniture and home furnishings increased to a record.
Wholesaler furniture sales dropped 2.9% in June, a second straight monthly decline, and stockpiles rose 2.6%, according to the government. The figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.
Supply chain bottlenecks collided with high demand through much of the past two years as pandemic-challenged producers struggled to meet an increased appetite for household goods. But consumer spending has shifted in more recent months to services, forcing big-box retailers including Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. to reduce prices.
A slowdown in the housing market as the Federal Reserve engineers higher borrowing costs to cool demand may also weigh on home-furnishing, reducing sales and risking an even larger overhang.
Indeed, cost increases for furniture have decelerated this year, up 0.9% in July, the government’s consumer price index report showed Wednesday. That compares with a monthly gain of 2.4% at the start of the year.
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