Price inflation drives merchants sales growth in Q1

Price inflation drives merchants sales growth in Q1

Total value sales data from Britain’s Builders’ Merchants shows Q1 2022 was a bumper quarter thanks in part to a record-breaking March, which clocked up the highest ever total sales in the history of the BMBI. However this was driven once again more by price inflation (+16.0%) than volume growth (+1.5%).

Quarter 1 2022 total value sales were 17.7% higher than Q1 2021, with no difference in trading days. All bar one categories sold more. Renewables & Water Saving (+29.3%) did best, followed by Kitchens & Bathrooms (+26.3%) which also recorded its best-ever quarterly sales. Timber & Joinery Products (+21.4%) and Heavy Building Materials (+17.4% in value) grew more slowly while its volume is up by 5.0%. Plumbing, Heating & Electrical (+16.4%) and Miscellaneous (+12.8%) both had their best-ever quarterly sales. Workwear & Safetywear (-0.1%) was flat.

Mike Rigby, CEO of MRA Research who produce this report, said: “It’s been an uncertain start to 2022 with the outbreak of war in Ukraine further impacting energy costs and inflation. But the quarterly figures suggest that – for now at least – the building sector is holding its resolve. With rising costs and another round of energy price increases looming, there may be clouds on the horizon but with geopolitical circumstances changeable, there is little way of knowing exactly what Q2 will bring.” 

The Q1 2022 BMBI report is available to download at

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