British Furniture Manufacturers

Labour and material shortages impact economic growth in the furniture sector

29 September 2021

The latest British Furniture Manufacturers’ Economic Review suggests the strong rebound in economic growth shown in Q2 is now waning, with the latest CBI (Confederation of British Industry) consensus, forecasting 2.7% growth for Q3. 

Managing Director of the BFM, Nick Garratt, has examined reports from the CBI and a variety of other sources as part of the Association’s monthly report.

His summary reveals the recovery is being impacted by labour and supply shortages, while money from the general public’s purse is being diverted to social activities now pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

The BFM report also reveals the cost for materials and fuel in August 2021 increased by 20.7%, compared to August 2020.

With the labour market continuing to strengthen and the number of pay-rolled employees rising above its pre-pandemic level in August, the number of vacancies has exceeded one million for the first time since records began.

Nick said: “Whilst order books for furniture remain strong, we are seeing the signs of consumers opting to spend their money in the entertainment and leisure sectors.

“Combining this with weakening consumer confidence, these factors may impact order intake in the coming months.

“With strong order books and problems with output due to labour and material shortages, many businesses are still operating on long lead times and it will be some months before weakening demand is felt in factories.”

The BFM Monthly Economic Review is available for members and those with an interest in the furniture sector at: https://bit.ly/BFMSept21

BFM Economic Review - September 2021

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