WOLF’s June Key Buyer Index Shows Positive Momentum

September 2015

WOLF, a supplier of kitchen cabinets in the United States and a provider of building products, reported the WOLF Key Buyer Index for June 2015 shows a score of 70.63, a slight dip from May’s KBI of 72.50. This signals a continued positive outlook for the industry. Consumer confidence is healthy and dealers are showing considerable gains compared to the same time last year. As a result, those who may have questioned the strength of a building industry rebound are now experiencing a verifiable and sustainable trend.

WOLF developed KBI, a proprietary metric that offers a monthly snapshot of independent dealers’ sentiments, to provide a concrete measure of how building materials buyers see the near-term future of their industry. WOLF gathers data for the KBI from a monthly survey of key buyers at independent kitchen and bath and building materials dealers across a 28-state region in the Eastern United States, extending from Maine to Texas. A WOLF KBI score of 50 reflects a neutral outlook; a score above 50 reflects a positive outlook; and a score below 50 reflects a negative outlook.

A regional breakdown shows that business confidence remains strong across the Mid-Atlantic region. In the north, a positive KBI score of 75.00 was tempered slightly by the anticipation of the seasonal slowdown in store traffic associated with summer vacations. The southern part of the region also continues to show positive market activity with a KBI of 70.00. The majority of this activity is distributed between renovation and repairs, new construction and light commercial channels. Project quoting and project starts in the multifamily sector continue to fuel a positive outlook in the region.

In the Northeast, the overall KBI was down 5 points from May’s score of 80.00, mainly due to the kitchen sector score, which dropped from 75.00 to 66.67 and reflected similar concerns about the vacation months as were expressed in other regions. In contrast, the building products KBI score of 87.50 continues to be very favorable. Considerable business opportunities are being realized in the northern tier of New England, compared to the weather-hampered first half of the year. New home construction is also increasing, which leads to greater opportunity in trim, molding and decking sales.

Recent flooding throughout the Midwest/Southeast region may have played a substantial role in that area’s KBI score dropping several points to 53.33. The WOLF survey found that most areas have recovered from these adverse conditions and that dealers expect rebuilding and restoration to begin in the very near future. While there are still pockets of uncertainty as to whether favorable business conditions are sustainable, the overall KBI score of 70.63 is a strong indicator that this trend would continue over the next several weeks.

For more information on the WOLF Key Buyer Index, read the detailed explanation or see the latest KBI score at www.wolfleader.com.