British Furniture Manufacturers

Third consecutive month of costs above 20%

17 November 2021

UK furniture manufacturers experience 3rd consecutive month of material and fuel costs above 20%

The cost for UK manufacturers of materials and fuel remains above 20%, according to the Office of National Statistics. The October figures showed a rise on the same month last year of 20.9%. The September figure was 20.4% and August 20.5%.

Factory gate prices for all types of UK manufactured furniture produced for the domestic market, rose by 4.2% in October compared to a year ago, up from 3.9% in September.

Rising costs are reflected too in the retail price of household furniture. In October the annual rise was 11.3%, up from 10.5% in September which itself was a record rise according to ONS. The series began in 2016.   

Meanwhile, the CPI rate of inflation rose by 4.2% in the 12 months to October, up from 3.1% in September.  The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose by 3.8% in the 12 months to October 2021, up from 2.9% in the 12 months to September.

The other inflation measure is the RPI, favoured by trade unions, and this saw a rise of 6%, up from 4.9% in September.   

Furniture is mentioned by ONS as one of the main contributors to higher inflation.

Average weekly retail sales of furniture and lighting in October were down on the same month last year by 5.7%, following an annual decline in September of 8.3%. Total monthly sales were just under £1.3 billion in October; a fall of 6.7%. However, the first 10 months of 2021 saw sales reach £12 billion, up by 15% on that period in 2020 and almost on a par with 2019.

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