RCI Article – Merchants’ sales increase in July

Merchants’ sales increase in July

Total Builders Merchants value sales to roofers, builders and contractors in July were up 2.9% compared with the same month last year. Workwear & Safetywear (+13.4%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+6.4%), Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+6.0%) and Landscaping (+5.6%) displayed the largest increases. However, when adjusted for trading days, Total Builders Merchants sales were down -1.6% on July 2018.

In the monthly comparison with June 2019, Total Builders Merchants sales were up +13.3% in July. Much of this growth was due to the three-day difference in trading days. The adjusted figures show that almost all sectors performed less well in July than in June. Overall Total Builders Merchant sales fell -1.5%.

Comparing the last three months (May to July) with the previous three months (February to April) sales growth is positive with an increase of +7.6%, and +2.5% on an adjusted basis.

July’s BMBI index was 132.8, with Landscaping the highest category at 165.4.

Neil Hargreaves, Managing Director Knauf Insulation and BMBI’s Expert for Mineral Wool Insulation, comments: “Demand for mineral wool insulation has been strong in the second quarter of 2019. Although the sector has remained in allocation, this is beginning to ease, and we are starting to see stock levels recover to a more normalised position.

“Going forward, the picture for insulation demand is mixed. Renewed environmental commitments, like the 2050 zero-carbon target and the government’s Future Homes Standard, mean the long-term direction of travel for the sector is positive. But it looks like there will be some turbulence in the short to mid-term. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the current political situation has introduced some nervousness and uncertainty in the market.

“Many industry commentators warned of the potential for uncertainty from a no-deal situation. Well, the signs show this potential uncertainty is becoming a reality. The numbers are indicating a slowdown in the sector, although it’s difficult to know to what extent allocation is masking true levels of current demand.”

BMBI Experts speak exclusively for their markets, explaining trends, issues and opportunities.

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Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.

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