The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in August to 294.1 from 320.8 in July, while the Future Expectations Index also declined to 192.7 from 266.5 in July.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 71 percent of respondents said sales were higher in August versus year-ago levels, down from 77 percent in July. For August, 24 percent reported sales were even, and six percent said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 53 percent of August respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 73 percent in July. In August, 35 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 12 percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 59 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 82 percent who felt that way in July. Thirty-five percent of August respondents project sales will be even one year from now and six percent project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “While the confidence index has declined for two consecutive months, we remain encouraged by the fact that 71% of our responding members report sales in August above year-ago levels. With recent reports showing a decline in new home sales and a reduction in consumer spending, it is understandable that hardware manufacturers have a cautious outlook regarding the prospects for overall economic growth and sales going forward.”
The August Confidence Index survey also asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members:
“Do you think new EPA regulations on greenhouse gas and ozone standards are necessary?” and “How important is it to your business that new immigration reform legislation is passed?”
To the first question, on new EPA regulations, 12 percent responded “Yes,” 24 percent responded “Not Sure,” and 65 percent responded “No.”
On the immigration question, 18 percent responded “Very important,” 35 percent responded “Somewhat important,” and 47 percent responded “Not important.”