CONSUMER GOODS: Furniture Sag

CONSUMER GOODS Furniture Sag

In a self-critical mood, 30,000 furniture makers and dealers swarmed into Chicago for their annual summer show last week and gave out some sad statistics. Retail furniture sales sagged 4% last year to an estimated $3.7 billion, are down another 10% so far in 1958. This year the average U.S. family will spend less than $62 on furniture, and 83% of all families will buy no major piece of furniture at all.

Furniture has been particularly hard hit by the durable-goods recession because furniture purchases are usually postponable—until the chair breaks down. Business began to...