The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has partnered with John Burns Real Estate Consulting to release the first official quarterly Kitchen and Bath Market Index (KBMI), showing a positive economic outlook for the rest of the year.
The 2019 first quarter report placed the kitchen and bath industry’s composite index at 71 out of 100. The index takes into account “the current quarter, future market sales, and overall health,” according to the NKBA. The composite index breaks out into a reading of 68 for current conditions and an outlook of 76 for future business conditions.
In addition, the report found that 56 percent of industry experts expect growth in the second quarter of this year. This sentiment was especially strong among manufacturers and building/construction companies.
Despite the optimism, the availability of skilled labor topped the challenges and concerns expressed by those in the market. Also noted as significant concerns were material costs, trade issues, economic uncertainty, and consumer confidence.
“We’re pleased to see that despite a softening in housing, the KBMI indicates positive growth and an optimistic sales outlook in the kitchen and bath sectors,” says Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “John Burns Real Estate Consulting is the preeminent research analysis partner in the housing space and we embarked on this joint venture to provide a reliable and frequent metric of industry performance and business health to our members and the market.”
The KBMI is meant to gauge “the economic pulse of the kitchen and bath market,” NKBA said in a statement. It will analyze current conditions, note pain points of professionals in the industry, and make predictions for future expectations through economic data and surveys with NKBA members.
"We view Kitchen & Bath as a critical gauge of discretionary consumer spending, and this new index will allow analysts to monitor the segment with more confidence than ever before,” says Todd Tomalak, senior vice president of research for John Burns Real Estate Consulting.