The latest Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report reveals that the quantity of goods sold by builders’ merchants in July was down 12.8 percent year-on-year but with prices up 15 percent since July 2021, the value of sales was marginally up by 0.2 percent.
Month-on-month, total merchant sales were down 2.6 percent by value in July compared with June 2022. Volumes were down 5.2 percent. Prices rose in July were 2.7 percent higher than in June. However, July had one more trading day than June, so like-for-like sales were 7.3 percent lower.
Mike Rigby, chief executive of MRA Research, which produces these monthly reports, said: “A flat July was probably to be expected by merchants, as the construction sector was hampered by everything from lost working days due to the exceptionally hot weather to the cost of living crisis’ having a continued impact on consumer spending – particularly in the repair, maintenance and improvement market. Even the proper return of holidays abroad will have impacted the volume of building work completed over the summer months.
“But looking ahead there is cause for optimism. With a new prime minister now in post and plans afoot to tackle the energy crisis, we may start to see material prices come down later in the year and a return to volume driven growth. This may be the kick the construction industry needs to get back on an upward trajectory as we head into winter.”