BFM reveals results of state of trade survey

Growth in employment and an anticipated good performance by exporters within the next four months are forecast in the latest British Furniture Manufacturers’ (BFM) state of trade report.

The survey, which took place in the four month period to October (and since the Brexit decision), also forecast that new order intake and output are expected to improve in the coming months, as the sector enters a traditionally busy period.

However, the report also revealed that business confidence turned negative following the referendum vote, as did output levels and new order intake.

It also showed that manufacturers have seen raw material cost increases ranging between 2.5-15%, with 5% being the average for board and 7% for timber, foam, fabric, leather, veneers and fittings, with further price rises predicted.

Factory gate rates are also increasing as many firms react to material cost hikes, ranging between 3-10%.

Said Mike Dimond, the BFM’s employment and membership affairs director: “While the Brexit vote was clearly followed by a period of uncertainty, our report also has a number of positive findings, particularly among exporters. The traditionally busy build up to Christmas appears unaffected although it is clear that the rising cost of raw materials is starting to be reflected in the end cost to consumers."

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