18 August 2021
Strong summer demand but furniture makers’ costs up by nearly 16% in July
According to the Office of National Statistics, in June (latest data), the turnover for all UK furniture makers was at a record monthly level of £779 million, up 65.2% on 2020 and 9.6% on pre-pandemic 2019. This is the highest recorded June level since 1998, when records began.
However, the increase in the cost of materials and fuel for UK furniture manufacturers climbed to 15.8% in July, compared to that month in 2020. In June the same comparative figure was 12.3%. For some time, BFM has been reporting large material prices rises, some items over 60% due to high demand and supply shortages, and the latest BFM Prices Report for August shows little sign of this trend abating.
It seems inevitable that UK makers will need to increase factory gate prices still further to try and offset these costs. In July, the trade prices were up by 2.3% on July last year, up from 2.1% in 2020.
The retail price of furniture (home produced and imported) in July rose on an annual basis by 6.9%, up from 6.6% in June, and this represented the highest monthly increase since September 2017.
Weekly furniture and lighting retail sales values in July, when seasonally adjusted, were 18.4% (17.6% unadjusted) up on that month in 2020 and 32.3% up on 2019 (36.2% unadjusted). In monetary terms this totalled £1.34 billion over the month.
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