News by German Furniture Association

German furniture industry sales up 16 percent in first quarter

The German furniture industry increased its sales in the first quarter of this year by 16.1 percent to approximately 4.8 billion euros. The German Furniture Industry Association believes this is due to two effects.

May 24 2022

In Germany, the industry achieved an increase of 15.6 percent. Internationally, German furniture manufacturers sold 17.1 percent more than in the same period of the previous year. The export ratio climbed from 31.6 percent to 32.2 percent. 
"When looking at business development in the first three months, two effects should be noted," commented Jan Kurth, Managing Director of the furniture associations (VDM/VHK), on the official figures. "On the one hand, the lockdown at that time must be taken into account when comparing with the previous year." The corona-related trade closures had led to a drop in sales of almost 8 percent in the German furniture industry in the first quarter of 2021. "In addition, the sales figures for the opening quarter of 2022 reflect the high order backlog and the increased production costs of our manufacturers resulting from higher material prices." 

Development of material prices represents a major burden

With regard to the availability of input materials, there are currently signs of a slight easing, Kurth said. However, the rise in material prices continues to be very dynamic and supply chains remain extremely fragile, he added. "Material availability currently has a high price tag, and for the German furniture industry, this cost development represents a major burden," says Kurth. 
Almost all divisions recorded double-digit sales growth from January to March this year. Producers of kitchen furniture (up 16.8 percent), upholstered furniture (up 20.8 percent) and office and store furniture (up 12.2 percent) posted strong gains. Other furniture, which includes living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, achieved a 19.3 percent increase in sales. Only the mattress industry recorded a slight decline (minus 1.9 percent). 
For the month of March 2022, the official statistics for the German furniture industry determined sales of 1.8 billion euros, an increase of 17.3 percent compared to the previous year. 
Kurth notes that incoming orders are also currently still above the previous year's level, but have weakened over the course of the year. He describes the general conditions for the second half of the year as challenging. "In addition to the impact of the pandemic and the Ukraine war on supply chains, material and energy prices and logistics, fears of inflation and the weakened consumer climate are creating uncertainty." 

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