SCHAUMBURG, IL -- The American Hardware Manufacturers Association's AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index's Current Situation Index declined in August to 191.7 from 241.7 in July, while the Future Expectations Index also fell to 193.1 from 229.3 a month earlier.
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 46 percent of respondents said sales were higher in August versus year-ago levels, down from 58 percent in July. For August, 29 percent reported sales were even, and 24 percent said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 44 percent of August respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 56 percent in July. In August, 32 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 24 percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 68 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 77 percent who felt that way in July. Twenty-four percent of August respondents project sales will be even one year from now and seven percent project sales will be below current levels.
Timothy S. Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: "Our members' declining confidence in August reflects on the very difficult macroeconomic environment prevalent in the country today. Recent reports of a downwardly revised GDP for the second quarter, and an increase in the unemployment rate for August to 9.6%, are further indications that we still have a long way to go before robust growth can be expected for most American businesses."