KBI falls below 50 for the first time since WOLF measurement began
September 18, 2012 – York, PA | WOLF, the largest supplier of kitchen cabinets in the U.S. and a leading provider of building products in 19 states along the East Coast, today reported the findings of the WOLF Key Buyer Index (KBI) for August.
The SEPTEMBER KBI score of 41.36 reflects a sharp decline from the August KBI of 58.93. This decline was reflected in both kitchen & bath products as well as building products.
The decline in the KBI could reflect month to month changes in a number of different factors such as changes in the number of shipping days, anticipation of a normal seasonal slowdown in demand for big project items, or anticipation of a longer term slowdown in demand for big project building products.
Cursory analysis of the data suggests that the question of shipping days is probably the most significant of the three factors in the September reading, although the decline in the KBI from August to September is greater than the associated percentage drop in the number of shipping days, which indicates something more than a simple change in the number of shipping days.
The longer term decline in the KBI from its inception in April – August excepted – is probably a reflection of a broader uncertainty in the regional economy.
Regardless of the cause, the September reading represents the first time the KBI has gone below 50 since Wolf began capturing data for the index. The KBI for September is below 50 in all regions served by Wolf except for the New England area, which may be attributed to a small sample size rather than a significant regional trend.
WOLF gathers data for the KBI from a monthly survey of key buyers at independent building materials dealers across 19 states, asking whether purchasing will increase, stay the same, or decrease. 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.
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.