British Furniture Manufacturers

Eight months of falling furniture production

15 June 2023

Furniture production falls for eighth month running

According to the office of National Statistics (ONS), furniture production fell again in April compared to that month last year. It was down by 7.8% but better than the 12% decline experienced in March. The April figure represents the eighth straight monthly decline in the index compared to the same months last year.

In terms total turnover and orders, furniture recorded a value of £836.9 million in April, down by 1.7% on April 2022; not so sharp a drop given higher factory gate prices.

The annual rise in the retail price of household furniture for the domestic market recorded it lowest rate of growth in May since August 2021, but at 8.2% it is still high by historical standards.

There was a small rise in the rate of growth of factory gate prices. In May the rate was 10.8%, up from 10.5% in April. Mattress makers lag behind other furniture sectors in price rises, recording a rise of just 1.6% compared to April last year.

Furniture input costs are now almost stagnant with a rise in the year to May of 0.5%. In April 2022, for example costs were running at 22.2%.

According to the ONS index, average weekly furniture (and lighting) retail sales values were up by 4.3% in May compared to May last year and better than the almost stagnant position of +0.3% in April (which was a revision in statistics from the original gain of 5.9%.). May saw the best monthly performance since December last year.  The amount bought (volume) however continued its downward trend recording a fall of 2.2%, which was the fifth monthly decline.  

The monthly amount spent by consumers in May amounted to £1.278 million.  The first 5 months of 2023 saw monthly retail sales reach £6.652 million, up by 1% on the same period in 2022.



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