British Furniture Manufacturers

High input costs and soaring retail prices show little sign of easing

18 May 2022

High input costs and soaring retail prices show little sign of easing

The rising cost of materials and fuel for British furniture manufacturers is showing no sign of easing with April showing a rise in the month compared to last year of 20.5%.   According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), monthly costs have been rising at or around the 20% mark since July last year. 

By comparison, domestic furniture factory gate prices were up in April by 7.5% on the same month last year.

The retail price of household furniture rose on an annual basis to April by 16.5%, a near-monthly high in ONS statistical records, only beaten by March when the rise was 17.2%.

The value of furniture and lighting sales for the month of April was recorded by the Office of National Statistics at £1.27 billion, down on the £1.58 billion recorded in March.  However, compared to 2021, April sales were up by 8.6% and 12.9% on pre-pandemic 2019.

UK inflation hits highest for 40 years as energy bills soar

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 9.0% in the 12 months to April 2022, up from 7.0% in March. The Retail Price Index (preferred by trade unions in negotiations) rose to 11.1%, up from 9% in March. This, according to the ONS, is the highest monthly rise in the RPI since the beginning of 1982.

The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH) rose by 7.8% in the 12 months to April 2022, up from 6.2% in March.

Record month for UK furniture makers

The latest figures - UK furniture production in March topped £1 billion, the highest monthly total recorded since the records of the Office of National Statistics began in 1998. The figure represents an increase on March 2021 of 42.6%. UK output in the first three months of 2022 reached £2.6 billion, an increase of 35.4% on the same quarter last year.

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