A net 60% of merchants expect the timber fire doors market to improve over the next three months (April to June) compared with the previous three months.
This is similar across merchants of all sizes.
Seventy-five per cent of merchants in the Midlands and North forecast higher sales compared with 41% in the South. More national companies and independents (66%) foresee higher sales than local chains (33%).
A net 40% of merchants reported an increase in the purchase cost of timber fire doors compared with three months ago.
More large companies (71%) and small firms (50%) experienced higher prices than mid-sized businesses (24%). The picture was similar across firms in all regions.
A net 30% of merchants put up their prices compared with three months ago. Chart 3 shows how the gap between buying and selling prices has closed after steadily widening during 2009.
More large firms (57%) increased prices than small (33%) or mid-sized companies (20%).
On balance, twice as many firms in the North (44%) raised selling prices compared with merchants elsewhere (22%).
A greater percentage of national firms (50%) put up prices than local chains or independents (21%).