The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in October to 216.7 from 245.8 in September (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index increased to 208.6 from 148.3 in September.
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 52% of respondents said sales were higher in October versus year-ago levels, down from 59% in September, while 19% reported sales were even, and 29% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 52% of respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 36% in September, while 40% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 7% expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 69% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 50% in September, while 26% project sales will be even one year from now, and 5% project sales will be below current levels.
“Many of our members expressed increasing optimism for the future prospects of their businesses during the month of October as political pollsters began to predict the likelihood of the midterm elections producing a change in Congress to a more pro-business atmosphere,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. “It is our hope that the new Congress will eliminate some of the uncertainty concerning the cost effects of federal legislation so that our industry can begin to invest in a more profitable future.”
The October Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members. Of the first, regarding the extension of the Bush tax cuts, 81% responded “Yes;” 12% responded “Not Sure;” and 7% responded “No.”
To the second question, regarding the Republican pledge to “repeal and replace” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 81% responded “Approve;” 17% responded “Not Sure;” and 2% responded “Disapprove.”