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The National Kitchen & Bath Association's (NKBA) measurement of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic inched down by 0.1 points to 7.4 out of 10, continuing a five-week downward trend. Of 850 member respondents, 30% said demand for their services was increasing, up six percentage points from the previous week. The total number of firms saying demand for their services was decreasing declined from the previous week, according to the NKBA.

NKBA’s weekly two-question survey measures the impact of the pandemic and resulting lockdown on members’ businesses on a scale of 1 (no impact) to 10 (significant impact), and whether demand for their goods and services is increasing, decreasing or staying the same. The survey tracks responses among designers, manufacturers, builders and retailers.

Manufacturers rated the impact the same as the prior two weeks, at 7.3. Retailers, builders and designers said impact eased by 0.3 points from last week; Designers and retailers placed impact at 7.3, while builders ranked it at 7.4.

Retailers and building/construction pros reported the biggest swings in demand, up 10% and 12%, respectively. Among retailers, 41% said demand increased week-to-week, as did 33% of builders. This ties into the fact that some states have begun to allow stores and businesses to reopen, and allow builders and remodeling contractors to resume their projects in homes.

The same percentage of designers (21%) said demand was increasing as the week of May 7, while more (46% compared to 39%) said demand was stable. So, fewer designers said demand was decreasing: 33% compared to 40% the prior week.

As more states rescind lockdown orders and businesses begin to have the opportunity for face-to-face contact with clients again, these numbers are expected to continue to improve. The most rapid recovery may be in the retail and building/construction sectors, as they have the closest contact with homeowners, but as the pipeline begins to fill up again, designers and manufacturers will catch up.

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