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Optimism (without the 'Caution') in Latest MDM/Baird Survey

Optimism (without the 'Caution') in Latest MDM/Baird Survey

February 9, 2011

Optimism – it's a term we haven't heard a whole lot in the past couple of years without qualifiers such as "cautious" or "measured." But, according to the latest results of the Robert W. Baird/MDM Distribution Survey, that may be changing.

Respondents to the survey, on average, are forecasting growth of 8.3 percent for 2011, and all sectors are expecting positive results for the year.

What about that fear of a "double-dip" recession we kept hearing about last year? That rhetoric also seemed to have disappeared from the latest survey, with respondents instead looking for "slow continued recovery in 2011."

Perhaps the best news out of the survey: companies are looking to hire again. "We are very definitely seeing hiring at distributors – they realize that you need feet on the street to capitalize on current opportunities," wrote one respondent.

The economy has not fully recovered by any measure, and building materials/construction industry is still weak, but it seems that overall, the economy is getting onto the right path. The recession's end is no longer just a statistic from some government group; real results and patterns are being seen in the real world.

As one respondent wrote, "Growth is out there for the taking."

Watch this short 2-minute video on the survey results:

Read more on the results of the Fourth Quarter Distribution Benchmarking Survey from Robert W. Baird & Co. and Modern Distribution Management in the Feb. 10, 2011, issue. Access all past MDM Premium issues.

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