AHMA Confidence Index Improves in April

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Manufacturers also indicate support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Schaumburg, Illinois, May 7, 2014 — The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in April to 320.8 from 208.3 in March (April 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index was unchanged at 215.5.

In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 77 percent of respondents said sales were higher in April versus year-ago levels, up from 50 percent in March.  For April, nine percent reported sales were even, and 14 percent said sales were below year-ago levels.

Looking forward six months, 57 percent of April respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 60 percent in March.  In April, 38 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and five percent expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 68 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 65 percent who felt that way in March.  Twenty-seven percent of April respondents project sales will be even one year from now and five percent project sales will be below current levels.

Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said:  “We are encouraged that April’s survey shows 77 percent of respondents reporting sales higher than year-ago levels, returning the current situation portion of the confidence index to the higher levels experienced at the end of last year.  While recent economic reports on the housing sector of the industry provide a reason for caution going forward, we remain confident that 2014 can be a year of significant growth for the home improvement industry.”

“Hot Topic” Questions

The April Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members:

“The State Department has announced it is delaying a decision on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Do you think construction of the pipeline should be approved?” and “How important is it to your business that efforts to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement be successful?”

To the first question, on the pipeline, 91 percent responded “Yes,” nine percent responded “Not Sure,” and zero percent responded “No.”

On the trade agreement question, 23 percent responded “Very important,” 46 percent responded “Somewhat important,” and 32 percent responded “Not important.”

About the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index

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 data collected from the survey produces two Indexes indicating:  1) Current Situation and  2) Future Expectations.  Both Indexes use survey data from April 2008 as the base reference point so that April 2008 = 100.

The AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index results are released on the first Wednesday of every month.

Results of the Index survey are viewable online here: http://www.ahma.org/ConfidenceIndex/CurrentResults    

About the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA)

AHMA is a globally focused trade association of manufacturers, or providers, of hardware, home improvement, lawn and garden, paint and decorating, building and construction and related products, as well as manufacturers’ representative’s agencies and trade publications.

AHMA offers many valuable member and industry programs, services and activities, including the AHMA Hardlines Technology Forum, AHMA / USA International Pavilions, AHMA Advantage GPO, the AHMA eAGLE, The Hard Fax: Home Improvement Industry News, The Hard Fax International: Home Improvement Industry News from Around the World, the Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index, the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Dashboard, AHMA Home Improvement Industry Stocks, the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Calendar, the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Network on LinkedIn, AHMA News on Twitter, Government Relations Programs, Member Benefit Vendor Programs, the AHMA Hardware Industry Relief Effort (HIRE) and the AHMA / Habitat for Humanity Partnership.

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