The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in August to 229.2 from 225 in July (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index was unchanged at 193.1.
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 55% of respondents said sales were higher in August versus year-ago levels, up from 54% in July. For August, 10% reported sales were even, and 34% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 48% of August respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 44% in July. In August, 38% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 14% expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 64% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 68% who felt that way in July. Thirty-two percent of August respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 4% project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA, said: “While it is encouraging that our members are reporting slightly improved sales levels compared with last year, we remain unsatisfied with the rate of progress in the overall economy. Until confidence is restored in the future of the U.S. economy, we suspect businesses will continue to be very cautious when considering investments going forward.”