The ongoing economic uncertainty linked to Brexit is a major factor in the revised Builders Merchants Industry Forecast of merchant sales, with a drop of -1.8% in expected growth for 2019 over 2018.

Published by the Builders Merchants Federation, the Q2 baseline forecast predicts year on year annual sales growth at 3.0% (revised down from the predicted growth of 4.8% in the Q1 Forecast). The BMF Forecast also includes scenarios based on a soft and hard Brexit, downward revisions here show annual growth at 2.9% (previously 3.8%) and at 2.6% (previously 3.4%) respectively.

Our weather is another contributing factor within the forecast. The impact of the Beast from the East experienced in Q1 2018, slowed sales in Q1 last year, with a subsequent boost in Q2. The boost seen in the second quarter last year is not likely to be reflected this year with the baseline forecast showing an expected -0.7% decline in Q2 2019 sales over the same period last year.

The Builders Merchants Industry Forecast is a comprehensive analysis of merchant market performance* from July 2014 to April 2019 coupled with an analysis of the key factors affecting builders’ merchants’ sales to project future sales from May 2019 to December 2021.

A PDF edition of the 36pp Q2 Forecast (July 2019) can be purchased for £195 + VAT. Contact Nyssa Patel, BMF Industry Analyst/Economist on 02476 854994 or email