The fourth quarter Baird Industrial Distribution Survey, from Robert W. Baird Inc., indicates the industrial economy is in recession.
On average, respondents' fourth quarter revenues were down significantly, with increased pricing offsetting unit volume declines. Expectations are for continued declines through 2009, though the trajectory should not be as severe as it was in recent weeks which were negatively impacted by abnormal holiday closures.
Baird's Industrial Distribution Research Team, led by senior research analyst David Manthey, CFA, collected feedback on fourth quarter results from nearly 300 independent and captive distributors with combined annual revenue in excess of $30 billion. Key survey findings include: