As furniture retail price inflation eases, BFM warns that producers remain under pressure
Furniture retail price inflation narrowed to a 12-month low in March but producers remain under intense input cost pressure according to BFM, the lead trade association for UK furniture makers.


Consumer furniture prices were 1.7 percent higher in the year to March 2018, easing from a 4.4 percent rise in the year to February as increases began to annualise against the steep hikes of a year ago and drop out of the cycle.

Office for National Statistics data compiled by The Furnishing Report shows the figure last month was the narrowest CPI rate for furniture since March 2017 (1.3pc).

But BFM — which allows members to track prices of raw materials and feedstocks including TDI, polyol flexible, MDI, logs, veneers, composites, soft and hard woods, fibres, leather hides, packaging and wire — says cost pressures further down the supply chain remain, with average input cost increases still exceeding 4 percent.

BFM's commodity price tracker reveals fabric fibres including polyester, acrylic, nylon and wool all rose by between 5–14 percent within the last year while the combined value of chemicals used to make foam remain in excess of 15 percent higher year-over-year.

Mike Dimond, the BFM's director of employment and membership affairs, said: "With a relatively strong world growth you may expect demand to increase as well as prices which is evident in our summary for many items.

"Leather hide prices fell by between 10–26 percent over the year depending on the animal, and the cost of cotton and viscose also declined."