Welsh furniture manufacturers are reportedly reaping the benefits of the weak Pound, with a lower value to the currency encouraging better value for money for importers all over the world.
Figures released by Welsh Government illustrate a 7.5% increase in sales post Article 50. With the Dollar reaching record highs against the Pound the USA has become the biggest purchaser of Welsh furniture.
Valuing the Welsh export industry at a substantial £12.3bn, Welsh furniture, mattresses and bedding make up £298m of that sum, up from £277m in 2015.
Prof David Blackaby, from Swansea University’s School of Management, said:
“The Welsh economy in total has seen a big increase in exports, being one advantage during these economically unsettling times.
“The furniture increase is slightly bigger. This has come about partly because of the fall in the exchange rate which has helped companies that are exporting.
“The companies that are benefitting are the ones offering products you can’t get elsewhere.
“It’s predicted the domestic market isn’t going to be growing quickly in the next couple of years, so if you want to grow your company the export market is the one to target and it is, potentially, an enormous market.”
Abaca, a mattress and bedding manufacturer from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, has been creating products from Welsh wool for ten years, also enjoying an increased number of orders coming from overseas. Managing Director, Rhiannon Rowley, says:
“We have picked up new customers in America but also the United Arab Emirates,” she said.
“Two percent of our sales are in Wales, the rest is other parts of the UK and a growing overseas market.
“The weak pound has helped. It’s encouraged people to look and once they have looked they’ve discovered that Wales offers the sort of products they can’t buy at home.”