The BFM's analysis of the State of Trade for the British furniture industry is now available to all members online.

The report has found that there is a less than optimistic view on business and sales compared to last year.

With the current state of uncertainty in the UK, it may not be a surprise that views are pessimistic while the public awaits the final outcome of the planned exit from the EU on 29th March, just 3 weeks away. In fact, compared to last year, a balance of 22% of respondents believe trade has worsened and a balance of 15% are less optimistic about the general business situation than they were in October 2018. In addition, one fifth of the sample audience are expecting to make redundancies in the coming months. However, a surprising turn in the report is that manufacturing output is up by an encouraging 41%, despite new order intake being low.

On the other hand, the report shows that the average price of material costs is dropping. The significant drop in foam chemical prices, particularly TDI, is now feeding through into price reductions, with companies that use foam reporting price decreases in the last 4 months.

42% of companies reported being involved in exporting with a positive amount of overall sales turnover being attributed to export. Both order intake and output levels were unchanged in the 4-month period of the survey and are expected to remain flat going into the summer months. Export seems to be the most constant with regards to production and sales. It has been on the rise of late but recent studies by Barclays Bank reported that only 40% of British companies who had the capabilities to export actually do.

If your business is looking to export but don’t know where to turn, contact the BFM today to learn more about how you can access its export portal which includes country guides, contacts, goods classification and much more. And if you want access to raw material pricing to make sure you are paying a reasonable price for logs, timber, foam chemicals, wire, leather, fabric fibres and packaging, membership benefits also include access to price data reports on the flux of pricing to make sure you are always paying the right price for your materials.