British Furniture Manufacturers

Furniture a major contributor to fastest pace of inflation for 30 years

19 January 2022

Cost of living rising at fastest pace for 3 decades and furniture a major upward contributor to rise

According to the Office of National Statistics, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 5.4% in the 12 months to December 2021, up from 5.1% in November. The last time it was above this figure was in 1992. Furniture is mentioned as one of the largest upward contributors to the change in inflation.

The retail price of UK furniture (imports included) was up by a record level of 12.5% in December compared to a year ago. This was the fourth consecutive month of price rises above 10%. For 2021 as a whole, the retail price of furniture was 7.7% up on 2020.  

In December, the cost of materials and fuel for UK furniture manufacturers was again above 20%.   At 21.5%, costs have been rising around this level for 5 months.  For 2021 as a whole, costs were up by 14.2% compared to 2020.

The factory gate price of all UK furniture was 5.1% more in December than it was a year ago. And, for 2021 as a whole, the annual increase was 2.9%.

The value of weekly furniture and lighting sales was down by 7.1% in December 2021 compared to a year ago.  In November, we saw a gain of 10.1%.  

For 2021 as a whole, sales values were 15.3% up on 2020 and this followed a fall in that year of 14% on 2019. In monetary terms, total sales for 2021 reached £14.8 billion.

UK other inflation measures for December

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 4.8% in the 12 months to December 2021, up from 4.6% in the 12 months to November.

The Retail Price index (the average of a selection of items) was up by 7.5%. In November, it was recorded at 7.1%.  

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