The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index July 17 Aug 17 Sep 17 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
Total Builders Merchants 100 119.2 120.5 117.5 123.4 121.6 76.7 102.6 104.5 112.2 116.1 129.4 127.6 129.1 124.7 118.4 131.8 122.5
Timber & Joinery Products 100 116.3 118.1 116.9 124.4 122.1 77.8 108.0 107.6 112.9 115.9 126.7 126.2 131.1 129.3 124.7 137.2 126.8
Heavy Building Materials 100 120.6 121.9 119.4 125.8 122.8 75.2 100.5 103.3 110.8 115.9 128.7 128.0 128.8 123.9 117.8 132.4 121.8
Decorating 100 114.6 116.4 110.5 115.4 114.9 76.6 101.9 100.8 106.5 106.6 117.0 114.9 119.4 117.2 112.0 124.6 116.1
Tools 100 109.8 109.1 110.4 119.2 119.8 75.3 101.3 100.0 111.2 105.1 110.5 113.3 112.5 109.7 108.0 123.2 117.8
Workwear & Safetywear 100 95.2 100.5 107.0 112.9 131 86.1 117.2 107.3 108.3 100.2 96.0 95.7 95.9 98.3 107.5 123.5 129.5
Ironmongery 100 125.6 126.9 123.4 130.6 129.5 85.5 120.4 114.8 118.0 117.3 125.7 123.9 128.8 124.4 117.9 133.6 129.3
Landscaping 100 140.8 133.2 117.1 115.8 105.8 60.0 81.3 88.0 104.8 132.1 170.4 164.1 156.6 142.4 122.8 126.0 106.1
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 106.6 113.2 120.3 128.9 141.9 97.4 127.2 125.2 136.1 120.4 122.7 117.1 116.8 114.5 120.4 141.1 146.5
Renewables & Water Saving 100 66.6 71.1 69.2 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
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 113.7 117.5 114.5 120.2 128.6 85.9 108.2 115.2 120.3 111.9 119.2 117.8 121.4 118.4 113.0 122.5 128.2
Miscellaneous 100 117.2 124.4 119.8 118.4 125.3 90.7 114.4 113.2 114.2 111.3 120.5 115.3 116.8 113.9 106.6 126.3 119.1
Services 100 110.6 116.1 110.6 114.0 109.2 79.0 93.1 96.4 107.3 109.6 125.4 116.9 121.1 120.1 106.9 125.1 114.2

Source: GfK's Builders Merchants Total Category Report - July 2017 to November 2018

Latest Overview

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.

Other periods
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.

Index
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.

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