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Short-term growth ahead of uncertain times, warns BFM



The latest British Furniture Manufacturers’ (BFM) Economic Review points to a third of the British public spending more on home improvements – including furniture – in case of further lockdown restrictions.

MD of the BFM, Nick Garratt, has examined reports from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Bank of England and the EY Item Club as part of the association’s monthly report. The review – the third this year – highlights that while the increased spending pattern has boosted furniture sales, it is likely to be short term, with last year’s uncertainty over a no-deal Brexit now compounded by the impact of Covid-19. Rising unemployment as the furlough scheme ends is also likely to hit retail sales.

Nick says: “With restrictions on other consumer spending categories and office workers still at home for the foreseeable future, the sales of furniture are likely to remain high in the short term. However, this month’s strong sales are against poor figures in September 2019, so caution remains vital.

“Last year, the prospect of a no-deal Brexit loomed, but now that same prospect is accompanied by the recent resurgence of Covid-19 numbers and rising unemployment. Combined, these factors could have a significant impact on retail growth over future months.”

The BFM Monthly Economic Review is available for members and those with an interest in the furniture sector here.



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