HACKETTSTOWN, NJ -- The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and John

Burns Real Estate Consulting recently released the 2019 second-quarter Kitchen and Bath Market Index (KBMI) report -- the definitive gauge of kitchen and bath industry conditions. With a KBMI of 65.7 and scores above 50 indicating growth, the industry remains strong, demonstrating an optimistic view of sales, which are expected to grow by 4.7% in 2019. The report reveals that increases in consumer spending are being driven primarily by rising material and labor costs, as opposed to customer discretion.

Conducted quarterly, the index gauges the economic pulse of the industry by examining current demand and future expectations in addition to monitoring sentiment among designers, manufacturers, retailers and building/construction firms. The availability of skilled professionals, cost of materials and trade issues top the list of overall challenges for the second consecutive quarter. Lack of skilled workers is the chief concern among building and construction firms, while designers point to a slowing luxury market and shift to lower price points as the biggest barriers to growth. Still, the report shows 57% of customers have increased total spending since 2018.

“As the leading trade association and advocate for the kitchen and bath industry, one of NKBA’s goals is to arm our members with market insights, as well as to raise awareness about impactful industry challenges,” said Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO. “Although NKBA members are still optimistic about current and future kitchen and bath business conditions, there are signs of changes in the marketplace that we are monitoring closely.”

"We are pleased to partner with NKBA to release the Q2 KBMI, an essential barometer for the industry,” added Todd Tomalak, senior vice president of research for John Burns Real Estate

Consulting. “This understanding of the health of building/construction, manufacturing, design and sales in the kitchen and bath sector provides additional context through which to view macroeconomic trends and directions.”