Halfway through 2019, an increasing number of leading indicators are pointing to an economic slowdown in the second half. Anecdotally we’re hearing of “sluggishness” in the past two months across many sectors. While I am always cautious around qualitative inputs, pieces of a puzzle this industry has not seen in a while are starting to stack up. Add another layer of trade, tariff and global economic slowdown already in process and the probability chips get higher.
Of course, no one knows if, when or degree of any potential downturn. But every business cycle has its own characteristics and impacts. Beyond the core economic fluctuation and revenue reduction, each downturn provides opportunities that distributors can leverage to take and grow share based on the actions or reactions by competitors. Market intel helps.
Market dynamics in 2019 are more complex, and for that reason we have mapped out a strong research agenda for this second half to help our Premium subscribers plan more effectively for 2019 and 2020.
As a first step, I’d like to ask for your help by taking our 10-minute survey to direct our research and industry coverage. The most important questions in the survey are the open-ended ones, where we solicit your response to the top pain points, technological challenges and recruitment issues for your business. Your input will increase the quality of output and value to your planning for the year ahead.
Second, register for our July 11 webcast (live and on-demand) – it’s our annual Mid-Year Economic Update that provides an economic forecast for all distribution sectors (registration opens soon). New this year and highlighted in the webcast will be our quarterly economic forecasts going forward by distribution industry sector. We believe it couldn’t be a more timely addition to our market intelligence portfolio. We’ll also be unveiling this year’s edition of the annual Economic Benchmarks for Wholesale Distribution, our financial chart book that provides key performance statistics for each of the 19 major sectors of wholesale distribution, which in 2018 was a $5.9-trillion U.S. economy sector.
We’re also excited about the case study profiles for our Premium members in our June issues of the 10 winners of our inaugural Digital Innovator Awards. And in late July we’ll be publishing our quarterly joint Baird survey that I believe will be the first true barometer of market trending in the second quarter across some of the core distribution sectors.
In August, we’ll be presenting our annual Top Distributors list, this year expanding it to include the largest distributors by revenue across 14 market sectors. Also in the third quarter, look for our 2020 Trends Report and 2020 Competitive Landscape report, which has been an important strategy and market planning tool for many distributors each year.
Our team at MDM is committed to strengthening the depth of our research to help our Premium members evaluate the best path forward. My perspective is that it’s a critical time these next few months to stay as close to market trends as possible, and we will be providing a lot of quantitative and qualitative market intelligence to support your planning.