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AKTRIN Reports Mattress Price Rise Of 5.8%

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Apart from mattresses and upholstered furniture, whose prices advanced by 5.8% and 4.3% respectively, other furniture wholesale prices rose only moderately, or - in the case of metal office furniture they even fell a bit. However, prices of some key raw materials (above all oil-based products) rose steeply. For instance, foam was up a whooping 61.4% between June 2005 and June 2006. Other products with double digit price increases include aluminum, steel, and particleboard. Labor costs are not a major cost-driving factor. In most instances, wages rose to a lesser extent than prices of the final products. Production wages in several sub-segments of the furniture industry even declined during the past 12 months, above all in the metal office furniture segment, where workers experienced a 2.7% drop. This is the third year in a row with falling wages. However wages in the office furniture segment still exceed those in other segments by a wide margin. With the exception of the upholstered household furniture and mattress industries, manufacturers selling prices are lagging behind overall input costs. We therefore conclude that profit margins in the furniture industry (excluding upholstered household furniture and mattress) deteriorated during the past 12 months. ______________________________________ Stefan Wille AKTRIN Furniture Information Center Tel.: (905) 845 3474; E-mail: aktrin@aktrin.com Web: http://www.furniture-info.com

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