The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in November to 208.3 from 216.7 in October (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index increased to 256.9 from 208.6 in October.
“With 80% of our members predicting higher sales looking ahead one year, and 50 percent reporting current sales higher than year-ago levels, there is reason for guarded optimism within our industry,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. “However, with unemployment at 9.8%, logic would dictate that any full recovery for the economy as a whole, and the home improvement industry in particular, remains a very tenuous prospect.”
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 55% of respondents said sales were higher in November versus year-ago levels, up from 52% in October, while 28% reported sales were even, and 22% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 69% of respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 52% in October, while 28% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 6% expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 80% of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 69% in October, while 20% project sales will be even one year from now, and those who project sales will be below current levels were zero.
The November Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members. Of the first, regarding the proposed two year moratorium on earmark spending in congress, 90% responded “Yes;” 8% responded “Not Sure;” and 2% responded “No.”
To the second question, regarding the push to pass the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START, which would reduce the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenal by approximately a third each, 40% responded “Approve;” 22% responded “Not Sure;” and 38% responded “Disapprove.”