After a string of declines, AHMA index improves in May

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in May to 175 from 166.7 in April (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index declined to 179.3 from 231 a month earlier.

Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “After four consecutive months of declines, it is encouraging to see the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s current situation index improve in May. As we move into the summer retail selling season, it is our hope that consumers feel confident enough in their overall economic situation to resume spending, thereby moving product through the entire channel and creating an opportunity for future sales.”

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 42% of respondents said sales were higher in May versus year-ago levels, up from 40% in April. For May, 21% reported sales were even, and 38% said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 42% of May respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 57% in April. In May, 50% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 8% expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 62% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 77% who felt that way in April. Thirty-three percent of May respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 4% project sales will be below current levels.