Weaker November propped up by robust Timber & Joinery Products sales
Year on year
Total Builders Merchant value sales were up 0.8% in November compared with November 2017. Four categories did better, including Timber & Joinery Products (+3.9%), the second-largest category. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+3.3%) had its highest monthly sales since BMBI started in July 2014.
Seven categories sold less this year, but three had falls of less than 1%: Ironmongery (-0.1%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (-0.4%) which, despite the decline , had its best monthly sales in 2018, and largest category Heavy Building Materials (-0.8%).
Month on month
Overall November sales were 7.0% lower than October. The last three years have seen sales drop between October and November but the reduction was higher this year. However October 2018 had the highest value sales since BMBI started and this will have contributed to the larger month-on-month fall. Workwear & Safetywear (+4.9%) was one of only three categories that sold more, along with Kitchens & Bathrooms (+4.6%) and Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+3.9%). Seasonal category Landscaping (-15.7%) was weakest.
The eleven months January to November 2018 were 4.0% ahead of the same period in 2017. Plumbing Heating & Electrical was strongest (+7.7%) with Timber & Joinery Products (+7.2%) close behind.
The rolling 12 months December 2017 to November 2018 were 3.7% above the same 12 months a year earlier, with one less trading day. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+7.5%) was strongest. Average sales a day in the period were 4.2% higher.
November’s BMBI index was 122.5 with one additional trading day. Plumbing Heating & Electrical was top (146.5). The average sales a day index for November was 115.6.