The home furnishings business needs to get over this ridiculous idea that the monthly housing numbers — starts, sales, permits, whatever — have a whole lot to do with forecasting what it means for the sale of its products. These numbers are for the construction industry and — maybe — for companies that make very specific home-related products like windows, kitchen cabinets, heating and air conditioning systems and plumbing fixtures.
They have very little bearing on the sale of products like sheets, towels, pots and pans, dishes, area rugs, home decor or even furniture. Plus, a surprisingly large percentage of home sales are the result of private equity firms buying up houses so they can rent them out as money-making investments. These are not traditional homeowners buying home goods for their own homes, they are putting the bare minimums into these properties with the intent of getting maximum return on their investments.
The home furnishings business needs to look at the household formation numbers as a much more accurate barometer of business conditions. These reports chart households being started and these are the places where the industry’s products will be needed.
Everything else is just stupid data.