AHMA reports plunge in industry confidence

The newly launched American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index plummeted in November, with the Current Situation Index falling 37.5 points to 62.5 and the Future Expectations Index declining 24.1 points to 75.9.

Comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 15 percent of respondents said sales were higher in November -- compared with 24 percent in October -- while 22 percent said sales were holding steady and 64 percent said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 16 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, compared to 15 percent who felt that way in October. In November, 30 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 54 percent expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 28 percent of respondents said they believe sales will be higher, down from 42 percent in October. Forty-four percent of November respondents project sales will be even one year from now and 29 percent believe sales will be below current levels.

“Given the current uncertainty in the financial sector, and the accompanying decline in consumer confidence, many of our members are reporting a slowdown in current sales levels and a lack of confidence in the prospects for a turnaround in the near future,” said Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. “This month’s Index accurately reflects those sentiments.”

The AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index is a monthly indicator of the economic health and “mood” of the industry based on a survey of AHMA members.

The survey asks three basic questions: How are current sales compared to one year ago, how do you see sales levels six months from now, and how do you see sales one year from now. Survey results are released on the first Wednesday of every month.

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