Sales at builders' merchants slumped 3.2 per cent in the three months to August 2005 against the same period in 2004, a report published by the Builders Merchants Federation revealed today.
BMF managing director Jeremy Hawksley said sales dropped off in 2005 but last year's summer trading represented an eight-year high for the sector.
Sales increased 4.8 per cent in the third quarter compared to the previous three months to May this year as the market enjoyed good summer trading, albeit down on last year.
Mr HAwksley said; 'We have seen a slowing this year, but it is too early to say how significant the slowdown is.'
By region the south west recorded a 8.8 per cent drop, the worst in the UK. Scotland and the north of England bucked the downward trend with sales increasing by 1.9 per cent and 1 per cent.
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