The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index Q1 2016 Q2 2016 Q3 2016 Q4 2016 Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Q4 2017 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018
Total Builders Merchants 100 99.8 113.6 112.9 100.9 106.0 116.0 119.1 107.2 112.2 127.6 118.4
Timber & Joinery Products 100 100.0 109.0 111.1 100.7 107.1 112.3 117.1 108.1 112.9 126.2 124.7
Heavy Building Materials 100 99.3 114.1 113.6 101.4 105.7 116.9 120.7 107.9 110.8 128.0 117.8
Decorating 100 99.6 107.0 110.0 98.2 101.7 107.2 113.9 102.3 106.5 114.9 112.0
Tools 100 97.8 103.5 102.8 97.3 106.7 104.7 109.8 104.7 111.2 113.3 108.0
Workwear & Safetywear 100 108.2 100.1 99.4 105.5 108.8 95.3 100.9 110.0 108.3 95.7 107.5
Ironmongery 100 107.5 112.2 115.5 107.4 115.3 117.9 125.3 115.2 118.0 123.9 117.9
Landscaping 100 89.9 142.2 127.0 89.8 96.1 146.0 130.4 93.8 104.8 164.1 122.8
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 112.0 105.2 105.3 113.9 119.9 106.0 113.4 122.7 136.1 117.1 120.4
Renewables & Water Saving 100 74.1 69.1 66.5 59.0 78.2 69.4 69.0 69.1 79.8 75.0 67.8
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 103.7 104.1 106.1 104.7 110.6 109.6 115.2 111.6 120.3 117.8 113.0
Miscellaneous 100 108.1 111.3 115.1 109.4 115.5 112.5 120.5 111.4 114.2 115.3 106.6
Services 100 101.0 114.7 113.9 98.9 99.3 107.6 112.4 100.7 107.3 116.9 106.9

Source: GfK's Builders Merchants Total Category Report - January 2016 to September 2018

Quarterly Overview - Q3 2018

The warm dry summer was breaking records, England got to the semi-finals of a world cup, and to top it all Total Builders Merchants continued to deliver value growth in quarter 3, up 4.2% on the previous year. July was particularly strong up 8.3% but the extra trading day YoY helped. August continued this trend and drove the growth with a positive 3.5% performance. However September fell off as the quarter came to an end showing only 0.8% growth on September last year.

The value growth year on year continued in Timber and Joinery with a year on year increase of 9.6% for the quarter. This growth was driven again by Sheet Materials and Timber items such as Carcassing, Battens and Trusses. The quarterly pattern, like the overall trend, petered off with July up 12.7%, August up 9.5% and September still strong but reducing considerably to a positive 6.6%.

Landscaping again had a strong quarter as the weather allowed people to get outside. Sales rose 7.8% year on year, with Decking, Tools and Watering showing the strongest growth, but again we saw sales tailing off as the quarter progressed.

Heavy Building Materials had a slower month, up by 2.4% on the quarter with only July showing strong growth, with the extra trading day helping boost the figures. July was up 6.8%, August 1.6% and September down 1.3%, with Insulation, Cement and Aggregates leading the decline.

Plumbing Heating and Electrical categories ended the quarter up 3.4% on the previous year showing a similar pattern across the months to the other core categories. July was up 9.6%, August up 1.2%, with September flat year on year. A positive quarter for Boilers was pulled down by a negative one for Electrical and Lighting.

Overall a solid value performance but we do not discuss volumes and prices in these reports. Have we now seen the end of the price inflationary impact from the Brexit vote? Will this flatter growth now become the norm? Personally, unless we see a significant shift in the pound, I think it might. If you wish to find out more, get in touch richard.frankcom@gfk.com

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