The Builders Merchant Building Index

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VALUE EX VAT Index Jul 16 Aug 16 Sep 16 Oct 16 Nov 16 Dec 16 Jan 17 Feb 17 Mar 17 Apr 17 May 17 Jun 17 July 17 Aug 17 Sep 17 Oct 17
Total Builders Merchants 100 111.1 113.7 113.8 112.3 113.6 77.1 94.7 100.5 122.8 106.7 121.1 120.2 119.2 120.5 117.5 123.4
Timber & Joinery Products 100 107.8 112.2 113.3 112.8 113.7 76.1 99.1 100.9 121.2 102.9 117.1 116.7 116.3 118.1 116.9 124.4
Heavy Building Materials 100 111.9 114.4 114.6 113.4 114.1 77.0 94.0 100.1 123.0 106.9 122.5 121.2 120.6 121.9 119.4 125.8
Decorating 100 107.8 112.5 109.8 108.3 110.4 76.3 92.8 97.0 115.6 98.8 111.0 111.8 114.6 116.4 110.5 115.4
Tools 100 101.5 102.4 104.6 106.5 111.3 74.8 97.6 101.7 120.7 97.2 107.0 109.9 109.8 109.1 110.4 119.2
Workwear & Safetywear 100 98.5 98.6 101.0 110.9 133.2 72.6 109.5 102.7 114.1 85.1 101.4 99.4 95.2 100.5 107.0 112.9
Ironmongery 100 111.0 115.8 119.8 118.0 119.9 84.6 107.5 109.4 129.2 107.5 121.6 124.5 125.6 126.9 123.4 130.6
Landscaping 100 132.0 129.2 119.9 110.2 97.2 62.4 71.0 87.7 129.5 138.1 153.1 146.9 140.8 133.2 117.1 115.8
Plumbing, Heating & Electrical 100 100.5 103.6 111.7 116.0 132.4 94.0 114.9 116.1 128.7 98.3 109.7 110.0 106.6 113.2 120.3 128.9
Renewables & Water Saving 100 63.7 63.1 72.8 61.2 73.4 42.4 68.1 76.2 90.3 68.2 70.2 69.9 66.6 71.1 69.2 78.3
Kitchens & Bathrooms 100 101.7 105.3 111.4 109.4 121.7 83.8 98.1 110.2 123.6 99.3 111.3 118.3 113.7 117.5 114.5 120.2
Miscellaneous 100 115.3 114.5 115.7 113.6 122.2 92.6 113.2 108.8 124.4 103.4 120.5 113.7 117.2 124.4 119.8 118.4
Services 100 115.5 115.2 111.1 108.3 107.1 81.3 87.8 95.0 115.0 100.6 112.4 109.7 110.6 116.1 110.6 114.0

Source: GfK's Builders Merchants Total Category Report - July 2014 to October 2017

Latest Overview

A solid October for merchants
Total merchant sales in October were the highest since GfK began compiling BMBI sales data in July 2014 – a potential cause for celebration. However we cannot ignore likely the impact of inflation, with many sectors reporting substantial price increases over the past 12 months. That said, merchants significantly out-performed ONS Construction Output in October and show no sign of the predicted weaker autumn trading.

Year on Year
Total Builders’ merchant value sales were up 10.0% in October 2017 compared with October last year, helped by one additional trading day. Among top categories were Tools (+12.3%), Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+11.4%) and Heavy Building Materials (11.1%). All categories sold more this year and Heavy Building Materials (the largest category) and Timber & Joinery Products (second largest) saw their highest monthly sales to date. Average sales a day (which take account of trading days) were up 5.0% in October for merchants overall.

Month on month
One more trading day helped October sales increase by 5.0% compared with September. Tools (+7.9%) and Timber & Joinery Products (6.4%) were among four categories that did better than merchants generally. Seasonal category Landscaping (-1.2%) sold less. Average sales a day in October exceeded September by 0.3%. Eight categories sold more, including Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+2.2%).

Other periods
The latest three months (August to October) were 6.2% up on the same three months in 2016, with an equal number of trading days. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+9.3%), Tools (+8.0%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+7.9%) grew more strongly and all categories saw gains.

Year-to-date sales (January to October) were 4.9% ahead of the same period last year and the rolling 12 months (November 2016 to October 2017) were 5.4% better than the preceding 12 months (+5.0% adjusted for a difference of one trading day).

Index
October’s Building Merchant Building Index was 123.4 (116.4 adjusted for trading days). Ironmongery (130.6) was highest.

For additional, deeper category insights and benchmarking please contact Richard Frankcom at GfK.

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