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Factoids offer brief snapshots of current topics pertinent to the Furniture industry based on our on-going research. Increase your grasp of current trends, consumer attitudes, and shifts within the industry through solid statistics and concise insight.

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Home Furnishings Prices Continue Four Year Decline All Consumer Items and Broad Consumer Item Category

This is the first factoid in a series of five factoids detailing the decline of prices among Furniture and Home Furnishings as well as many other major consumer items. The prices of consumer items grew steadily coming out of the recession for virtually all broad product categories until 2012 to 2014, when Durable Goods, including furniture, appliances, and electronics, along with Non Durables, and Commodities began to decline.  The Services sector, led by skyrocketing medical costs, is the only broad group continuing to see large price increases.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all consumer items increased 9.9 percentage points over the last six years – an average of 1.6 percent a year. Meanwhile, the purchasing power of the dollar decreased with time – declining 9 percentage points since 2010.

Durable Goods has been the worst performing sector in price growth compared to Non Durables, Services, and Commodities. Durable Goods prices grew slightly coming out of the recession, but began declining in 2012, and this year is 3.3 percentage points below 2010. With a constant upward trajectory, the price all of consumer Services has increased 14.4 percentage points from 2010 to 2016 –due in part to escalating medical costs.

Source: Consumer Price Index, Bureau of Labor Statistics *2016 data through 3rd quarter

Interpreting the CPI: The Consumer Price Index is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the measure of the average change overtime in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. The CPI-U (Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumers) represents all urban consumers, about 89 percent of total U.S. population. This article focuses on the Consumer Price Index from 2010 to 2016.  To interpret the CPI note that the base year indexes is always shown as 100.  The index for subsequent years indicates the percentage growth over that base year.  For example, an index in the year 2013 of 119.3 indicates the price of that consumer item has grown 19.3 percent since the base year of 2010. On the other hand, an index of 86.2 indicates the price of that item has fallen 13.8 percent.  Each year represents the growth over the base year.

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FastFact: Furniture, Other Durable Goods See Steady Price Declines
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