Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of more than 500 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of first-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for 2013.
Inconsistency was the name of the game in the first quarter, as respondents to the first-quarter 2013 MDM/Baird Distribution Survey reported uneven sales from month to month. First-quarter revenues, on average, were up 1.9 percent overall for respondents, lower than the 3.4 percent growth forecast in the fourth-quarter survey. Most segments represented in the survey reported growth in the quarter, albeit at varied rates across sectors.