Survey reveals mixed-bag of confidence

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 67% of respondents to the recent American Hardware Manufacturers Association survey said sales were higher in December versus year-ago levels. That’s down from 75% in November. 

Also for December, 28% reported sales were even, and 6% said sales were below year-ago levels. 

Looking forward six months, 72% of December respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 65% in November. In December, 28% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and zero expect sales to be below current levels. 

“With the housing sector of the home improvement industry beginning to show signs of sustainable recovery, and many other economic indicators pointing toward a more robust rate of growth, most of our manufacturer members enter 2014 with a sense of optimism,” said Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA, based in Schaumburg, Ill. “It is especially encouraging to find in this month’s survey that 72% of our members expect sales levels to increase over the next six months.”

Looking forward one year, 61% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 70% who felt that way in November. Thirty-nine percent of December respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and zero project sales will be below current levels.

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