The latest figures from the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI), published in October, reveal that builders’ merchants’ value sales were down -3.3% in the month of August compared to the same month in 2022, with volume falling -10.5% and prices up +8%. But value sales in the last three months, June to August, were +3.3% higher than March to May 2023.

Year-on-year, eight of the 12 categories sold more this August than in August 2022 with renewables and water saving (+37.6%) continuing to dominate the field. Work wear and safety wear (+11.6%), plumbing, heating and electrical (+10.8%) and decorating (+10.8%) performed well. Landscaping (-7%) and timber and joinery products (-13.2%) were weakest.

Total sales in June to August 2023 were +3.3% higher than the previous three months (March to May 2023), with volume up +5.3% and prices down -2%. With four more trading days in the most recent threemonth period, like-for-like sales were -3.1% lower. Nine of the 12 categories sold more, led by landscaping (+6.1%) and kitchens and bathrooms (+5.5%). Timber and joinery products sales edged up +1.5%.

Month-on-month, total value sales were down -1.9% in August compared to July. Volume sales were down -3.2% while prices increased +1.4%. With one additional trading day in August, like-for-like sales were -6.3% lower. Five of the 12 categories sold more, led by work wear and safety wear (+7.5%). Timber and joinery products (-0.6%) was one of the seven categories to sell less.