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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. This article is a summary of second-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for 2013.

This article includes:

  • Second-quarter revenue & pricing trends for wholesale distribution
  • Revenue forecasts for third quarter & 2013
  • Sector-specific trends for 19 sectors
  • Inventory levels
  • Economic outlook for the second half of 2013

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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.

Respondents expect revenues to grow …

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 fourth-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for 2013.

Even with uncertainty and a disruptive mid-week holiday schedule, respondents to the fourth-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird Distribution Survey passed the revenue expectations they had in the third-quarter survey. Fourth-quarter revenues were up a modest 3 percent overall for respondents, slightly higher than the forecast 2.4 percent growth. All segments represented in the survey reported positive growth in the quarter.

Respondents expect revenues to grow 3.4 percent in first quarter 2013 and raised full-year expectations to …

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 third-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for the fourth quarter and full year of 2013.

The results of the third-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird Distribution Survey represent lowered expectations compared with past results. According to the survey, third-quarter revenues were up 4.1 percent overall for respondents, lower than the expected 5.5 percent growth.

Respondents expect revenues to grow 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter 2012 and 3.6 percent in 2013. The annual forecast is …

Expectations for revenue growth in 2012 continued to decline in the second-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird Distribution Survey. On average, survey respondents expect revenue growth of 5.2 percent for the full-year 2012, compared with 5.6 percent in the first-quarter survey. Respondents expect revenues to increase by an average of 5.5 percent in the third quarter.

Actual revenue growth for the second quarter exceeded expectations, with an average increase of 7.5 percent compared with the forecast 7 percent. Cutting tools, PVF – industrial & energy, and safety products saw the greatest growth, while respondents in janitorial/sanitation and plumbing sectors reported...

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 the second quarter and full year of 2012.

Expectations for revenue growth in 2012 remain solid among respondents to the first-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird survey, though at a lower rate than seen in other recent surveys. On average, survey respondents expect revenue growth of 7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 and 5.6 percent for the full year.

These forecasts come on the heels of a strong first quarter, with overall average revenue growth of ...

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of nearly 600 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of fourth-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for the first quarter and full year of 2012.

Respondents to the fourth quarter 2011 MDM/Baird survey were much more optimistic than previous surveys, with more than half expecting growth in 2012. Just 5 percent expect economic growth to be negative this year.

That’s a great turnaround from the third quarter, when in response to a slightly different question, just 19 percent said ...

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of nearly 500 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of third-quarter results.

On average, respondents to the latest quarterly MDM/Baird survey said third-quarter revenues were up 8.9 percent year-over-year. In the second-quarter survey, respondents indicated...

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of nearly 600 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of second-quarter results.

On average, respondents to the latest quarterly MDM/Baird survey said second-quarter revenues were up 9.7 percent year-over-year. In the first-quarter survey, respondents indicated …

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of more than 600 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.

On average, respondents to the latest quarterly MDM/Baird survey said first-quarter revenues were up 8.7 percent year-over-year. In the fourth-quarter survey, respondents indicated sales were up 10.3 percent.

Respondents expect the positive trend to...

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