Consumer furniture price inflation eased in May after a period of sustained high levels, driven by currency movement and rising input costs.


Producer prices — or factory gate inflation — can be one of the best indicators of future consumer price trends, as it is retailers and wholesalers who most keenly feel the impact of manufacturers' output prices.

After fluctuating between 2–3 percent throughout 2017, furniture makers' price inflation has generally eased into the early months of 2018.

Until May.

Last month it shot up to 3.4 percent, its highest level in over three years, according to ONS data compiled by The Furnishing Report.

The prices paid by British manufacturers (of all goods) for materials and fuels were 9.2 percent higher in the year to May (April: 5.6pc) indicating that manufacturers are under intense pressure and are actually not passing all of their rising costs on to their customers; the retailer or wholesaler.

June data will give a better indication if this is a timing blip or the beginning of a new wave of incoming input cost pressures.

Omnia subscribers can see the factory gate data by category in more detail via the Indicators section of our website.

Drilling down into the detail should give our readers, most of whom are occupied in the supply and retail of household furniture, mattresses and carpets, some optimism.

That's because the biggest single factor driving rising factory gate furniture price inflation was a double-digit percentage hike in the cost of kitchens. Bad news for them but not, we suspect, for most of you.

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