RCI Article – No Signs of Brexit Effect in July, Confirms BMBI Report

No signs of Brexit effect in July, confirms BMBI report

July’s builders’ merchants’ sales, the first full month after the EU Brexit vote, were down year on year, but with two fewer trading days in July this year, average trading sales per day were actually 5.5% higher.

Unadjusted for trading days, total Builders’ Merchant sales were 3.7% down in July compared to the same month in 2015. Heavy Building Materials, the largest BMBI category, was down 3.2%. Roofing, cladding and insulation sales come within Heavy Building Materials. Compared with June, total Builders’ Merchant sales in July were down 3.9% with one less trading day. Heavy Building Materials slipped 3.7%.

Total sales in the three months May to July were 4.1% up on the three months February to April, helped by two additional trading days. Heavy Building Materials was up 4.5%.

“Economists have been wrangling over the effects of the Brexit vote,” says John Newcomb, Managing Director BMF. “But, as the ONS said and BMBI confirms, there is little evidence that the vote to leave the EU affected construction output in July. A difference in trading days in August will complicate like-for-like comparisons, so we probably won’t get a definitive picture until the September BMBI report.”

John Sinfield, MD Knauf Insulation and BMBI Expert comments: “With no sight yet of a Brexit vote hangover, a series of strong housebuilders’ results, and a new Government that says it’s going to make housing a priority, the immediate lookout for insulation in roofing and cladding looks good. Provided there is a let up in prevailing labour and skills shortages. But that remains a thorny topic for Mrs May’s new team.”

BMBI Experts speak exclusively for their markets, explaining trends, issues and opportunities. John Sinfield is the BMBI’s Expert for Mineral Wool Insulation.


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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.