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Merchant sales “volatile” say BMF

Sales of building materials at builders merchants throughout the country were up by 0.9% for the three months August to October 2007, when compared to the same three month period in 2006, according to figures just released by the Builders Merchants Federation.
However, when compared with the immediately preceding three-month period (May to July 2007), sales fell by 2%. Taking a longer-term view, the 12-month period to October 07 shows a 0.5% increase over the previous 12-month period. The monthly comparison is also up by 1.8% over October last year.

Regionally the picture is mixed, with London, the South East, North, West Midlands and Yorkshire each reporting increased three-monthly figures, but a slow down evident in the East Midlands, South West, North West, Scotland and Wales.

Commenting on the figures, BMF Secretary, Peter Matthews said, “After a period of increased sales throughout the country over the summer, the BMF’s latest figures indicate a degree of caution returning to the market.

“There are clearly regional differences, with some areas experiencing better trading conditions than the national average, whilst others have fared less well. We will have to wait several months to see if December’s interest rate cut will have a positive effect.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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