UK inflation hits new 40-year high as furniture prices remain high

Furniture prices remained high during June 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 9.4% in the 12 months to June 2022, up from 9.1% in May.

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 16.3% in June, up from 16.2% in May, while rising from 6.5% compared to the same month last year.

The retail price of household furniture increased to 16.6% in the month from 16.4% in May, while rising from 6.6% last year.

Garden furniture prices stood at a rate of 25.5%, static on last month, while carpets and other floorcoverings prices increased by 8.3%, up from a rate of 8.1% the previous month and 6.9% last year.

Other household textile prices, including furnishings fabrics, curtains and bedding, saw a rate of 5%, down from 5.7% the previous month, but up on 2.8% from June 2021.

Meanwhile, Producer Price Inflation (PPI) saw the rate of furniture output prices, factory gate, rise 9.9% in June on the same month in 2021, while also up from a rise of 9.5% in May.

Furniture input prices, material cost of production, were up 21.1% in June on the same month last year, and up from a rise of 22.4% the previous month.

Overall, producer input prices rose by 24% in the year to June 2022, up from 22.4% in the year to May 2022; this is the highest the rate has been since records began in January 1985.

Producer output (factory gate) prices rose by 16.5% in the year to June 2022, up from 15.8% in the year to May 2022; this is the highest the rate has been since September 1977.

On the month, the rate of input inflation was 1.8% in June 2022, down from 2.4% in May 2022, while the rate of output inflation was 1.4% in June 2022, down from 1.6% in May 2022.

Commenting on the inflation figures for May, ONS Chief Economist Grant Fitzner said: “Annual inflation again rose to stand at its highest rate for over 40 years. The increase was driven by rising fuel and food prices, these were only slightly offset by falling second-hand car prices.

“The cost of both raw materials and goods leaving factories continued to rise, driven by higher metal and food prices respectively. These increases saw raw materials post their highest annual increase on record, with manufactured goods at a 45-year high.” 

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, added: “Inflation continues to rise, heavily driven by rising production costs. Food prices have been sharply hit by soaring global commodity prices and the rising costs of animal feed and fertilizer, both exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. Across the board, non-food products are being impacted by haulage and shipping costs, whilst surging energy prices are making stores increasingly expensive to run.

“In the face of rising pressures in supply chains and operations, retailers are doing all they can to absorb as much of these costs as possible and look for efficiencies in their businesses. Retailers are expanding their value ranges to offer the widest variety of goods to those most in need, providing discounts to vulnerable groups, and raising staff pay. Until inflation is brought to heel however, it will be a difficult road ahead for households and businesses in the UK.”

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