With the UK’s furniture manufacturing provisional turnover in 2014 reaching £7.4 billion, 6.1 per cent higher than the previous year and 14.6 per cent higher than in 2011, despite a decline in the number of furniture manufacturers over that time, the latest industry statistics released by the UK’s largest furniture association are increasingly positive.
Published annually by the Furniture Industry Research Association, the Statistics Digest contains facts and figures specific to the furniture and furnishings industry and is compiled using the latest available data for 2014 sourced from a range of websites. Provisional figures for 2015 will not be released by the Government until the latter half of 2016.
Dr Peter Beele, author of the publication and Technical Services Manager for FIRA International, which carried out the research on behalf of the Association, said:
“The turnover for furniture manufacturing in 2014 was 1.4 per cent of the total for UK manufacturing and the furniture sector employed 2.9 per cent of all UK manufacturing personnel (71,000). Notably, kitchen furniture manufacturing turnover improved to a greater extent than any other subsector in 2014. After a couple of years of comparatively poor performance the corner appears to have been turned, with a 22 per cent increase on the previous year. In 2014, mattress manufacturing turnover also increased during the same time frame by 7.1 per cent.”
The Digest further segments the furniture and furnishings sector and evidences that the negative worldwide trade gap has continued to widen, with increases in imports outstripping any small increases in exports.
Dr Beele continues:
“Import and export data continue to portray worrying trends, resulting in an ever widening trade gap, but this is compensated for by the improvement in fortunes of many UK manufacturers and an increasing demand from consumers for furniture and furnishings. As the industry continues its recovery, the Statistics Digest provides a valuable insight into the performance and potential trends for the industry.”
Established 65 years ago, the Furniture Industry Research Association was set by the industry for the industry. It provides invaluable technical support to the entire furniture supply chain and funds projects for the benefit of the industry.