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Industry confidence index declined in April

The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in April to 308.3 from a high of 350.0 in March (April 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also fell to 239.7 from 298.3.

In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 74% of respondents said sales were higher in April versus year-ago levels, down from 84% in March. For April, 4% reported sales were even, and 22% said sales were below year-ago levels.

“Our members continue to report current sales levels better than year-ago levels, indicating that the economy is moving in the right direction,” said Timothy Farrell, president and CEO. “However, with important segments of our industry still struggling, such as housing with new home sales at around 300,000 units per year versus over 700,000 units in 2008, it is obvious that we still have a long way to go before we can enjoy the benefits of operating in a truly dynamic economic environment.”

Looking forward six months, 62% of April respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 84% in March. In April, 35% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 4% expect sales to be below current levels.

Looking forward one year, 77% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 89% who felt that way in March.  Fifteen percent of April respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 8% project sales will be below current levels.

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