The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index Oct 17 Nov 17 Dec 17 Jan 18 Feb 18 Mar 18 Apr 18 May 18 Jun 18 Jul 18 Aug 18 Sept 18 Oct 18 Nov 18 Dec 18 Jan 19 Feb 19
Total Builders Merchants 100 123.4 121.6 76.7 102.6 104.5 112.2 116.1 129.4 127.6 129.1 124.7 118.4 131.8 122.5 77.4 107.8 108.7
Timber & Joinery Products 100 124.4 122.1 77.8 108.0 107.6 112.9 115.9 126.7 126.2 131.1 129.3 124.7 137.2 126.8 79.9 114.7 112.2
Heavy Building Materials 100 125.8 122.8 75.2 100.5 103.3 110.8 115.9 128.7 128.0 128.8 123.9 117.8 132.4 121.8 75.6 106.6 108.1
Decorating 100 115.4 114.9 76.6 101.9 100.8 106.5 106.6 117.0 114.9 119.4 117.2 112.0 124.6 116.1 78.8 104.6 103.3
Tools 100 119.2 119.8 75.3 101.3 100.0 111.2 105.1 110.5 113.3 112.5 109.7 108.0 123.2 117.8 73.0 100.3 99.8
Workwear & Safetywear 100 112.9 131 86.1 117.2 107.3 108.3 100.2 96.0 95.7 95.9 98.3 107.5 123.5 129.5 79.9 111.5 96.8
Ironmongery 100 130.6 129.5 85.5 120.4 114.8 118.0 117.3 125.7 123.9 128.8 124.4 117.9 133.6 129.3 84.5 120.8 115.5
Landscaping 100 115.8 105.8 60.0 81.3 88.0 104.8 132.1 170.4 164.1 156.6 142.4 122.8 126.0 106.1 64.0 87.1 98.2
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 128.9 141.9 97.4 127.2 125.2 136.1 120.4 122.7 117.1 116.8 114.5 120.4 141.1 146.5 96.9 130.8 125.7
Renewables & Water Saving 100 78.3 82.2 46.8 75.2 76.3 79.8 74.2 70.4 75.0 73.5 64.8 67.8 76.4 68.5 45.8 69.3 65.7
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 120.2 128.6 85.9 108.2 115.2 120.3 111.9 119.2 117.8 121.4 118.4 113.0 122.5 128.2 81.2 109.5 115.3
Miscellaneous 100 118.4 125.3 90.7 114.4 113.2 114.2 111.3 120.5 115.3 116.8 113.9 106.6 126.3 119.1 85.1 122.7 111.6
Services 100 114.0 109.2 79.0 93.1 96.4 107.3 109.6 125.4 116.9 121.1 120.1 106.9 125.1 114.2 79.9 94.5 99.7

Source: GfK's Builders Merchants Total Category Report - October 2017 to February 2019

Latest Overview

February sales growth driven by outside trades

Year on year
Extreme weather can make comparisons difficult. Twelve months ago the country was hit by the ‘Beast From the East’, which spanned late February and early March. While construction was affected (especially outside trades), merchants sold 4.1% more in February 2018 than in February 2017. Against this background, Total Builders Merchant value sales in February 2019 were up 4.1% compared with February 2018 – and up 8.2% compared with February 2017.

A relatively dry and mild February this year helped outside trades. Landscaping (+11.6%) and the largest categories Heavy Building Materials (+4.7%) and Timber & Joinery Products (+4.3%) did better than merchants overall. Decorating (+2.5%) grew more slowly and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+0.4%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+0.0%) were flat.

Month on month
With February having two fewer trading days, sales were 0.9% higher than in January. Average sales a day (which takes trading day differences into account) were up 11.0%. Four categories did better, including Landscaping (+24.1%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+15.8%) and Heavy Building Materials (+11.6%). Tools (+9.4%), Timber & Joinery Products (+7.6%) and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+5.7%) were among six categories that grew more slowly. Only Workwear & Safetywear (-4.5%) sold less each day.

Other periods
Cumulative sales for January and February were 4.5% ahead of the same period last year. Landscaping (+9.4%) was strongest, with Heavy Building Materials and Timber & Joinery Products both up 5.3%.

The rolling 12 months March 2018 to February 2019 were 3.6% above the same period a year earlier, with one less trading day. Timber & Joinery did best (+6.6%). Average sales a day in the period were 4.0% higher.

Index
February’s BMBI index was 108.7, the highest February BMBI index to date. Plumbing Heating & Electrical was top (125.7). The average sales a day Index for February was 112.8.

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