SCHAUMBURG, IL -- The American Hardware Manufacturers Association's AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index's Current Situation Index fell in February to 198.3 from 270.8 in January, while the Future Expectations Index increased to 218.5 from 206.9.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 48 percent of respondents said sales were higher in February versus year-ago levels, down from 62.5 percent in January. For February, 43 percent reported sales were even, and nine percent said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 67 percent of February respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, up from 60 percent in January. In February, 24 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and nine percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 60 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 60 percent who felt that way in January. Thirty percent of February respondents project sales will be even one year from now and 10 percent project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: "Despite a very challenging macroeconomic environment and the lack of a clear future cost structure in terms of taxes, health care costs, etc., most of our members continue to produce positive sales results. With economists predicting very slow growth for 2013, our members are concentrating on maximizing profits by managing their businesses as efficiently as possible."