October 2017 sales were 5% ahead of September, with one extra trading day this month, and the latest three months (August to October 2017) were 6.2% up on the same period last year (no difference in trading days).
The product areas seeing the biggest increases in October 2017, compared to October 2016, were tools (+12.3%), plumbing heating & electrical (+11.4%) and heavy building materials (+11.1%).
The figures are contained in the Builders Merchant Building Index, which tracks builders’ merchants’ actual sales.
John Newcomb, chief executive of the Builders Merchants Federation, said: “Our figures are demonstrating that the builders’ merchants’ industry is resilient in the face of uncertainty. We continue to see strong growth overall, and across a wide range of categories in the industry, indicating the adaptability of merchants in responding to the needs of consumers.
“These figures further reinforce our understanding that the builders’ merchants’ industry is delivering the building blocks for growth and is a vital part in supporting construction, infrastructure and housebuilding across the country.”