The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in February to 229.2 from 270.8 in January (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also declined slightly to 246.6 from 250 a month earlier.
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 55% of respondents said sales were higher in February versus year-ago levels, down from 65% in January. For February, 18% reported sales were even, and 27% said sales were below year-ago levels.
“It is certainly encouraging that most of our members, through good management and aggressive product marketing, are reporting current sales levels above year-ago levels," said Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. "However, we continue to be concerned about the prospects for sustainable long-term growth, given the current macro-economic situation wherein unemployment in the country is at 9%, and the federal budget deficit is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to reach $1.5 trillion during 2011.”
Looking forward six months, 70% of February respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 61% in January. In February, 27% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months, and 3% expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 73% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 84% who felt that way in January. Twenty-seven percent of February respondents project sales will be even one year from now and 0% project sales will be below current levels.