As displayed in this graph, which tracks the costs of wood living room furniture from April 2018 to July 2022 in the U.S., costs started to dramatically jump in July 2021. Many suppliers, while still deeply impacted by the initial pandemic-related supply shortages in the summer and autumn of 2020, only saw changes of 1% to 3% until January 2021. This may be explained by one major factor: stimulus checks.
The first and second checks were distributed in April 2020 and December 2020/January 2021, respectively, while the third check arrived in March 2021, reports USA.gov. These dates correlate with the sudden spikes in prices shown in this graph when supply chains couldn’t meet consumer demand.
But this doesn’t explain the even sharper increases we saw in late 2021 and 2022. The reason for the major increases? It’s likely due to the same reasons seen in other sectors: a major war overseas that blocked supplies and trade, interest rates kept low for decades after the 2008 market crash, and a catastrophic pandemic that impacted supply chains and labor forces, according to CNBC.
The big takeaway? You may want to wait a while before purchasing that new living room set. Instead, it may be beneficial to give your couch a little DIY love, build new furniture with recycled materials, or hit up your favorite thrift store for great deals in the meantime.