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This newsletter is careful to accurately report the results and financial performance across several sectors of the industry, in an effort to provide some benchmarks to help readers gauge how their market is performing and how competitors are faring.
It has been extremely difficult to generalize about any aspect of this economy for industrial sectors. Most product sectors and markets continue to experience one month of 'good' or slightly increased sales, followed by a decidedly down month.
This year started with the national news media proclaiming the recession as probably over and as one of the mildest in U.S. history. And now it seems to be jumping up and down on the other end of the bandwagon and tipping toward doom and gloom, particularly in light of the Fed's half-point rate decrease.
Yes, there is still a lot of uncertainty and no clear fuel for an industrial recovery at this point. But the data shows many companies reporting year-to-year improvement. A portion of that can be attributed to having made the hard cuts in staffing and cost reduction. Many distributors are treading water, but are simultaneously doing the difficult work of positioning to find the currents that will take them back to solid ground.
That attitude is keeping their people engaged and focused on the future, not the past. That is going to be a critical differentiator when we move beyond this current business cycle.