Supply chain shortages and price increases are the biggest issues facing the UK furniture manufacturing industry as pandemic restrictions lift, according to trade association British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM), which warns that, despite indications for a strong recovery as retail stores reopen, material and fuel costs continue to rise.
BFM MD Nick Garratt examines economic trends and forecasts, and their possible impact on the furniture sector, as part of the BFM’s Monthly Economic Review. He found that material and fuel costs for UK furnituremakers rose again last month, while factory gate prices for all UK furniture manufacturers rose by just +0.9%.
The price rises on materials and fuel have increased every month in 2021 compared to the same month last year, with increases of +4.7% in January, +5.2% in February and +5.7% in March.
Nick also warns that inequalities in access to Covid-19 vaccines could impact the overall global economic recovery, and that caution around the pandemic is still needed.
Nick says: “There is much optimism fuelling a strong recovery in the economy and retail sales in the UK. But our members continue to report that supply chain shortages and price increases are one of the biggest issues facing the industry at present.
“Emerging and developing countries are likely to remain in great difficulty, as a result of economic problems leading to a painfully slow rollout of vaccines.
“The strong recovery in the UK remains susceptible to possible further outbreaks of new variants, where today’s vaccines offer less protection.”
The BFM Monthly Economic Review is available for members and those with an interest in the furniture sector here.