Archived News Article

Growth in export performance by UK furniture manufacturers

This news article has been archived for reference only. It should not be relied upon for up-to-date information

The Furniture Industry Research Association has been analysing the Government’s recently published manufacturing and export figures, summarised in its 'MBS turnover of production industries', which have replaced the TOPSI publication from December 2017. At this time these figures are provisional and subject for verification.

The latest figures suggest that the performance of the furniture industry during the first quarter of 2018 remained strong at £2.2 billion, despite what may be considered a seasonal dip in January.

Prompt recovery in February and March resulted in an overall Q1 performance of just under 1% (0.8%) when compared to the same period last year and an increase of 8% on 2016 figures.



Looking into the furniture sector in detail, key takeaways are:

  • Mattress manufacturing has seen a sustained period of growth since 2012 of almost 40% to 2017 at £809 million, despite a slight dip in 2016-17 of £18 million (0.4%).
  • Further growth was seen in contract furniture sector, in particular height adjustable office seating of 5.4% to £181 million and metal framed office furniture by 1% to £234 million respectively.
  • Despite uncertainty surrounding the future movement of goods, export performance increased by around 58% (£89 million) to just over £240 million when compared with the previous year, and 52.3% higher than in 2016. Whilst welcome, this figure appears to be an anomaly compared to previous years and will need further investigation when the final figures are confirmed. It is hoped that with further clarity on the trading relationships with the EU marketplace, export growth will continue.

The Furniture Industry Research Association collates key furniture statistics on an annual basis for its membership. The annual Statistical Digest is a key document for business influencers – informing and influencing key decisions. Association members can download the latest digest, covering the period for 2016, for free here.

For those wishing to access the core data is available here.

For more information contact FIRA on 01438 777700 or email