Builders' merchants' report surge in sales in first quarter of 2017

Sales of building materials rose almost six per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, new figures reveal.

Due to the dry and warm weather conditions in the first three months of the year, the latest Builders Merchants Building Index (BMBI) shows the sector made a strong start to 2017 with the sale of building products rising by 5.9 per cent.

Aided by two extra trading days due to a late Easter, March was the strong performer with sales almost 12 per cent higher that the previous 12 months.

Tools (8.8 per cent) and ironmongery (7.2 per cent) were the fastest growing categories, while the ability to start external works in a warmer, drier winter saw timber and joinery sales rise by 6.7 per cent.

The index, which tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales to builders and contractors using GfK’s Builders’ Merchant Point of Sale Tracking Data, also found landscaping increased by 6.7 per cent (largely due to sales of block paving and kerbs), and heavy building materials also soared 6.2 per cent on the back of higher sales of bricks, blocks and insulation.

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