Strip out inflation and merchant sales are now falling

April 2022 was the first month since January 2021 that year-on-year volume sales have been down.

Money taken through builders merchants cash registers was down just 0.9% in April, year on year, but with price inflation running at a whopping 17.0% for their merchandise, a lot less product went out of the door – 15.1% less, to be precise.

After the big post-covid gardening boom, sales of landscaping products were down 14.1% by value in April, year on year. Sales of Kitchens & Bathrooms were 15.8% higher than in April 2021. These were the biggest falling and rising categories.

Sales through specialist plumbing and heating merchants were down 5.8% by value, despite 8.6% price inflation.

Compared to April 2019, before the pandemic, total merchant value sales were down 5.1% by volume but up 21.0% by value because of 27.5% price inflation over the three years.

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