K&B Manufacturers are Especially Bullish. Here’s Why. – NKBA


K&B Manufacturers are Especially Bullish. Here’s Why.

Manufacturers Project the Strongest Revenue Growth of any Sector through 2024
Image courtesy of Signature Kitchen Suite.

By NKBA | KBIS Editorial

The Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI), a leading indicator of the U.S. K&B market performance, rose during the first quarter of 2024 – another positive indication that the industry has held steady and is entering a period of growth. Some of the most significant signs of a recovery come from the manufacturing segment, which led the post-Covid recovery four years ago.

Data and insights released as part of the Q1 2024 KBMI report reflect why the manufacturing sector reported the strongest optimism of any of the four surveyed industry segments (design, retail sales, manufacturing, building & construction) about potential revenue growth this year.

 Here are a few highlights:

  • The manufacturing sector’s index of 58 outpaced the overall 56.4 Index rating, which measures current sales growth, industry health, and near-term growth expectations among U.S. kitchen and bath industry pros.
  • Surveyed manufacturers expect 6.8 percent revenue growth for 2024 vs. the 5.7 percent average for all four segments. This includes solid projections of short-term growth.
  • Despite a slight dip in the current Q1 K&B Activity Index, manufacturing still had the highest Activity and Health Index numbers of any sector.
  • Manufacturing and distribution firms began the year positively, with orders rising by 4.2 percent YOY in Q1 2024; they report solid near-term sales expectations.
  •  Inventories remain relatively balanced, and most manufacturers reported having balanced/normal capacity. Only 18 percent reported having significant excess capacity.
  • Manufacturers are prioritizing investment in R&D in new products (49 percent), as well as training/upskilling (46 percent) and supply chain management improvements (42 percent).  

One notable bright spot in the K&B manufacturing sector was the cabinet shop sub-segment, which saw very strong year-over-year order growth of 10 percent in Q1 2024. Shop owners expressed optimism that demand would continue to be strong over the next six months.

“The manufacturing segment remains a critical bellwether of the health of the K&B industry,” said Bill Darcy, Global President & CEO of NKBA | KBIS. “Despite the dampening effect of persistently high borrowing rates, manufacturers are telling us that they are optimistic about the year ahead, an encouraging sign for the entire industry.”

For more insights and data about the manufacturing sector’s performance, download the full Q1 2024 NKBA/John Burns Kitchen & Bath Market Index (KBMI) report here.