CONSUMERS WILL MAKE DO WITH THEIR OLD SOFAS

* The National Furniture Buying Index increased only two points in November, during what is traditionally one of the industry's best seasons. The index, an indicator of sales for the upcoming month, rose from 64 points to 66 points between November and December.

The fall selling season typically brings a 7 to 8 point uptick, says Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group in Charleston, S.C., and creator of the Furniture Buying Index. A mid-60s index has retailers worried, Mr. Beemer says.

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