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AMERICAN HARDWARE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION
Terrence V. Gallagher
Manager of Communications
801 North Plaza Drive
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
847-592-3504
tgallagher@ahma.org

P.R. # AHMA11-04

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April AHMA Confidence Index Shows Current Sales Down While Expectations Improve

Manufacturers also express opposition to increased taxes and approval of a balanced budget amendment.

Schaumburg, Illinois, May 4, 2011 —The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in April to 166.7 from 200 in March (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index improved to 231 from 206.9 a month earlier.

In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 40 percent of respondents said sales were higher in April versus year-ago levels, down from 48 percent in March.  For April, 37 percent reported sales were even, and 23 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, up from 49 percent in March.  In April, 37 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and seven percent expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 77 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 72 percent who felt that way in March.  Twenty-three percent of April respondents project sales will be even one year from now and zero percent project sales will be below current levels.

Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said:  “While the April survey of our members shows only 40 percent with sales currently above year-ago levels, we are encouraged by the improving outlook for future sales with 57 percent expecting growth within the next six months and 77 percent expecting growth within the next twelve months.  Future growth, however, remains dependent on factors such as an improvement in employment levels, increased housing turnover and a containment of rising fuel costs.”

“Hot Topic” Questions

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

“The Obama administration has proposed raising taxes on persons making more than $250,000 per year as part of a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit.  In your opinion, is this an effective way to reduce the deficit?” And:  “Some members of Congress are renewing calls for passage of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a solution to the budget deficit problem.  Are you in favor of a balanced budget amendment?”

To the first question, on raising taxes, 20 percent responded “Yes,” seven percent responded “Not Sure,” and 73 percent responded “No.”

On the balanced budget amendment, 63 percent responded “Yes,” 20 percent responded “Not Sure,” and 17 percent responded “No.”

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 October 2008 as the base reference point so that October 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/April2011Results    

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 AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index, the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Dashboard, Government Relations Programs, Member Benefit Vendor Programs, the AHMA Hardware Industry Relief Effort (HIRE) and the AHMA / Habitat for Humanity Partnership.

For more information about AHMA, please visit www.ahma.org.

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