Builders Merchant sales indicate construction remains strong

Third quarter builders merchant sales were the second best ever, not quite living up to the second quarter.

Third quarter sales from builders merchants, recorded on the Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) this month, show sales did not quite live up to the second quarter levels, but the quarter still came in as the second best ever recorded. 

The latest total value sales data from Britain’s Builders Merchants show a continuation of the strong growth seen throughout 2021. Sales in the third quarter were 2.4% behind the second quarter's record-breaking figure, but that still left it the second best month ever. However, price rises meant the value of sales growth was greater than volume growth.

The value of sales in the third quarter was 17.2% higher than in Q3 last year - and there was one less trading day this year. Eleven of the 12 broad product categories sold more over the period. Timber & Joinery Products led the field at +43.9% to show their highest-ever quarterly BMBI sales. But even excluding timber, merchant sales still grew by 9.6%. 

Comparing Q3 2021 with Q3 2019, a more normal pre-Covid year, the value of sales was up 18.4% (again with one less trading day this year). Six categories sold more, led by timber with Landscaping close behind at +30.2%.

The Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) tracks builders merchants’ actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data. The BMBI claims to represent better than 80% of the value of the builders merchant market. 

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