HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) -- Optimism about an economic recovery is showing up in the U.S. furniture industry, a sector that's lost business as pinched consumers postponed big-ticket purchases.

Commercial buyers stocking furniture stores for the coming months seemed more willing to place orders at the High Point Furniture Market that ended Thursday in North Carolina. But manufacturers say any recovery is fragile and depends on the two-thirds of economic activity created by consumers.

A former furniture manufacturing executive who now heads an e-commerce retailer says there was more optimism at this week's market after the gloom of the past four or five years.

But Norwalk Furniture president Dan White says the industry's recession is not over. He says small businesses like his are worried about the prospect of higher taxes and health insurance costs.

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