AHMA Confidence Index declines

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in December to 229.2 from 266.7 in November (December 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also fell to 241.1 from 262.1.

“As we look forward to 2012, we are encouraged by some recent reports showing that the prolonged downturn in the economy may finally be poised for improvement," said Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. "We remain concerned, however, that while potential for progress exists, no definitive and sustainable growth can occur while unemployment rates remain at high levels and the housing market continues to struggle.”

In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 55 percent of respondents said sales were higher in December versus year-ago levels, down from 64 percent in November.  For December, 25 percent reported sales were even, and 20 percent said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 60 percent of December respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 76 percent in November.  In December, 30 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 10 percent expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 80 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 76 percent who felt that way in November.  Fifteen percent of December respondents project sales will be even one year from now and five percent project sales will be below current levels.