Total builders’ merchant value sales to builders and contractors rose by 4.0% in February, compared to the same month twelve months previous (BMBI).
Five categories showed an improvement: Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+7.9%), Timber & Joinery Products (+6.6%), Ironmongery (+5.0%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+4.6%) and Workwear & Safetywear (+4.5%).
Six categories showed slower growth, including Heavy Building Materials (+3.2%) the largest category. Only Tools sold less, at -1.6%.
Overall sales in February were 1.8% higher than January, with four categories being stronger, including Landscaping (+8.2%) and Kitchens & Bathrooms (+6.5%).
Average sales a day in February (which takes account of two fewer trading days) were up 12.0% compared with January. Landscaping (+19.1%), Kitchens & Bathrooms (+17.1%) and Heavy Building Materials (+13.1%) did better. Strikingly, all categories out-performed January.
The first two months of 2018 were 6.1% up on January and February of last year. Plumbing Heating & Electrical (+9.3%) fared best, with Ironmongery (+8.5%) also performing with credit.
With one more trading day this year, average sales a day in January and February were up 3.6% year on year.
The latest three months (December 2017 to February 2018) were 4.2% up on the same three months a year previous. Workwear & Safetywear (+9.1%) did best. Heavy Building Materials (+2.9%) grew more slowly.
The rolling 12 months March 2017 to February 2018 were 5.3% above the same period a year earlier.
February’s BMBI index was 104.5, with one additional trading day. Seasonal category Plumbing Heating & Electrical was top (125.2) followed by Kitchens & Bathrooms (115.2). Nine of the 12 categories exceeded 100.
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