AMERICAN HARDWARE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION
Terrence V. Gallagher
Manager of Communications
801 North Plaza Drive
Schaumburg, Illinois 60173
P.R. # AHMA14-06
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHMA Confidence Index Down in March
Manufacturers also indicate hiring plans and concerns with rising interest rates.
Schaumburg, Illinois, April 2, 2014 — The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in March to 208.3 from 219.3 in February (March 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also declined to 215.5 from 263.1.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 50 percent of respondents said sales were higher in March versus year-ago levels, down from 53 percent in February. For March, 15 percent reported sales were even, and 35 percent said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 60 percent of March respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 74 percent in February. In March, 30 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 10 percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 65 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 79 percent who felt that way in February. Twenty percent of March respondents project sales will be even one year from now and 15 percent project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “The percentage of survey respondents reporting sales above year-ago levels declined for the fourth consecutive month in March. Still, sixty-five percent of our responding members report sales above or even with last year. So, despite the decrease in the rate of growth, overall sales trends in the first quarter of 2014 continue to indicate a relatively healthy economic environment for manufacturers in the home improvement industry.”
“Hot Topic” Questions
The March Confidence Index survey asked two supplemental questions of AHMA members:
“Given the current economic situation in general, and the specific goals of your company in particular, do you plan on hiring more employees over the next six months to a year?” and “How important is it to your business that interest rates under control of the Federal Reserve do not rise too quickly?”
To the first question, on hiring, 30 percent responded “Yes,” 30 percent responded “Not Sure,” and 40 percent responded “No.”
On the interest rate question, 80 percent responded “Very important,” 20 percent responded “Somewhat important,” and zero 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 March 2008 as the base reference point so that March 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.
For more information about AHMA, please visit www.ahma.org.