Industry confidence surges, says AHMA index
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s (AHMA’s) Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in March to an all-time high of 350 from 270.8 in February (March 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also increased to 298.3 from 229.3.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 84% of respondents said sales were higher in March versus year-ago levels, up from 65% in February. For March, 11% reported sales were even, and five% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 84% of March respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 68% in February. In March, 16% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and zero percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 89% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 65% who felt that way in February. Five percent of March respondents project sales will be even one year from now and five% project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “With 84% of our members reporting sales levels higher than they were one year ago, we are obviously pleased with the positive momentum and have hopes that the trend continues. Moving forward, however, we fully realize that continuing unsatisfactory employment levels and a still-struggling housing sector within the home improvement industry present major obstacles to steady, long-term growth.”