With the impact of Brexit still unsure (albeit Article 50 is yet to go through and take effect) it does not take much for the mind to read too much into damping news from within building products.
Many manufacturers rely on the merchant sector as a critical part of the supply chain to get through to architects and contractors. Recent news of the slowdown experienced at Sheffield Insulation Group, Travis Perkins announcing the closer of 20 branches and the demise of Hewdens makes for pessimistic reading; especially once you add the Office for National Statistics latest forecast for the industry!
With this is mind it was good to read the BMF's latest figures behind quarter three and year-on-year performance from within the merchant sector. 3.8% up on quarter two reads well, especially given how peak output for the year has now passed.
Sales of building materials through UK builders’ merchants rose by 3.8% in the three months after the EU referendum, compared with the same period of 2015. Above: A hardware store The third quarter of 2016 suggests that builders’ merchants bucked the downward construction trend reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) earlier this month.