BMF publishes Covid-19 special Builders Merchants Industry Forecast

Builders merchants’ trade association the Builders Merchants Federation has published its first Builders Merchants Industry Forecast Report to take account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Interrupted and unsettling trading patterns during the first six months of 2020 made the second half of the year more difficult to predict.  Initial forecasts expected average growth to decline by -20%, but the final forecast is more optimistic, showing year on year growth declining by -11.5%.

For this latest forecast, the BMF worked alongside the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy to collate and analyse data from a wide range of sources in addition to data derived from its own Builders Merchants Building Index, which has tracked merchant market performance since July 2014.

Looking further ahead to 2021, the forecast includes two trading scenarios relating to Brexit, the first moving on from the transition period with a deal, the second without a deal.

Taking 2021 as a whole, the forecast points to a 2.8% increase for the sector if there is no deal, against a more encouraging 5.9% increase if a trade deal is reached with the EU.

This edition of the Builders Merchants Industry Forecast also includes a valuation of the merchant share of the UK Building Materials Market in 2019 and a valuation of the UK Plumbing and Heating Market 2019, together with industry comment and insights including the rush to digital trading in the wake of Covid-19.

A PDF edition of the Autumn Covid-19 Special edition Builders Merchants Industry Forecast 2020 – 2021 can be purchased for £250 + VAT.  Contact Nyssa Patel, BMF Industry Analyst/Economist on 02476 854994 or email

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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