The latest BMBI monthly index for August 2019 shows that, after a strong start to the year, growing uncertainty around Brexit led to a ‘marked slowdown’ in merchants’ sales in Q2.
As the deadline looms closer, the BMBI states that: “It’s clear that the uncertainty continues to impact negatively on merchants’ sales. Year-on-YearTotal Builders Merchants’ sales in August 2019 were down 5.6% compared with the same period in 2018. On a like-for-like basis, with one less trading day, average sales a day were only 1.1% down.
The best performing sector in August was revealed to be Kitchens & Bathrooms, which increased by 3.0% year-on-year, on an adjusted basis. Other sectors which recorded positive growth on an equal number of trading days included Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+2.3%), Workwear & Safetywear(+1.8%) and Ironmongery (+1.5%).
Average sales a day fell back in Timber & Joinery (-5.2%), Tools (-7.1%) and Heavy Building Materials (-0.8%).
Month-on-Month Total August 2019 sales were down by 11.4% compared with the previous month. However, when adjusted for the two-day trading difference, sales were down 2.9%.
Landscaping (-9.5%), Timber & Joinery (-2.1%) and Heavy Building Materials (-3%) were significantly down. All product categories saw sales decrease in August compared to July.
Sales in the rolling 12 months September 2018 to August 2019 were up 1.6% on the same period last year. Year-to-date sales also remained positive at 1.2% compared to August 2018.
August’s BMBI index was 117.7, with Landscaping the highest category at 136.7