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FIRA ‘Statistics Digest’ reveals £17.5 billion consumer spend on furniture and furnishings


The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) has published its annual ‘Statistics Digest for the UK Furniture Industry’ which acts as a barometer for the furniture sector.

The digest reveals continued growth in demand for furniture and furnishings with consumer expenditure in this group being almost £17.5 billion in 2017 – exceeding all other spend in the household goods sector.

The 45 page digest comprises in-depth analysis of the latest available data sourced from Government bodies including the Office for National Statistics (ONS), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Communities and Local Government, and the Bank of England.

It covers furniture manufacturing, furniture and furnishings retail and international trade, alongside statistics on consumer behaviour including spend, lending and house buying.

The £17.5 billion consumer expenditure on furniture and furnishings in 2017 represented a 21% increase from 2014. Year on year growth from 2014 to 2016 was 6.9% and 4.8% respectively. However, growth from 2016 to 2017 was higher at 7.9%.

Expenditure for the wider furnishings, household goods and routine maintenance sector rose by 25.5% from 2014 to 2017, with year on year growth of 7% over 2016 – 2017. This expenditure increase exceeded that seen in all other competitor sectors examined.

Suzie Radcliffe-Hart, technical manager at FIRA International and author of the Statistics Digest said, “This growth trend continues from where the Statistics Digest closes. Latest data shows furniture and furnishings sales continuing to rise into early 2018 with first and second quarter consumer expenditure being respectively 8.5% and 8.3% higher than for the equivalent periods in 2017, although we acknowledge that this has been a particularly challenging year.”

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