Furniture prices still high as inflation hits another record 40-year high

Furniture prices remained high during May as overall inflation rose to another record high.

According to the latest Office for National for National Statistics (ONS) data, the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 9.1% in the 12 months to May 2022, up from 9% in April.

This is the highest CPI 12-month inflation rate in the National Statistics series, which began in January 1997, as inflation continued to increase to a 40-year peak.

Furniture and furnishing prices stood at 16.2% in May, down from 16.3% in April, while rising from 6.4% compared to the same month last year.

The retail price of household furniture fell to 16.4% in the month from 16.5% in April, while rising from 6.6% last year.

Garden furniture prices rose by 25.5%, down from 32.8% month-on-month, while carpets and other floorcoverings prices increased by 8.1%, down from a rate of 9% the previous month.

Other household textile prices, including furnishings fabrics, curtains and bedding, saw a rate of 5.7%, up from 4.2% the previous month.

The ONS said prices for furniture, household equipment and maintenance rose by 11% in the year to May 2022. The resulting contribution of 0.60 percentage points was the highest from this division in the National Statistic series, which began in January 2006.

Meanwhile, Producer Price Inflation (PPI) saw the rate of furniture output prices, factory gate prices, rise 9.2% in May on the same month in 2021, while also up from a rise of 7.8% in April.

Furniture input prices, material cost of production, were up 22.4% in May on the same month last year, and up from a rise of 22.3% the previous month.

Overall, producer input prices rose by 22.1% in the year to May 2022, up from 20.9% in the year to April 2022; this is the highest the rate has been since records began in January 1985.

Producer output (factory gate) prices rose by 15.7% in the year to May 2022, up from 14.7% in the year to April 2022.

On the month, producer input prices rose by 2.1% and output prices by 1.6% in May 2022, down from 2.7% and 2.8%, respectively, in April 2022.

Commenting on the inflation figures for May, ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Though still at historically high levels, the annual inflation rate was little changed in May. 

“Continued steep food price rises and record high petrol prices were offset by clothing costs rising by less than this time last year and a drop in often fluctuating computer games prices. 

“The price of goods leaving factories rose at their fastest rate in 45 years, driven by widespread food price rises, while the cost of raw materials leapt at their fastest rate on record.”

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, added: “Households and businesses in the UK are continuing to feel the squeeze from rising prices, as higher energy prices, a tight labour market and increasing transport and commodity costs filter through to consumers. Fierce competition for market share means that retailers will continue try to absorb as much of these costs as possible and look for cost-savings elsewhere.”

“Retailers are working hard to do what they can to protect their customers from price rises, including by expanding value ranges, keeping the cost of essentials down and providing discounts for certain vulnerable groups. With inflation only set to rise, the BRC will continue to work with retailers to find ways to mitigate future price rises.”

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