The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

July Fastener Distributor Index Reflects Overall Weakness

The FDI reading for July totaled 49.8.

Fastener sales in July were weaker than in June, according to a report from the National Fastener Distributors Association. The Fastener Distributor Index for July totaled 49.8. Sequential declines in sales, employment, and pricing were noted among survey participants, while six-month expectations appear to have modestly improved versus the prior reading.

The FDI is a monthly survey of NorAm fastener distributors, conducted with the FCH Sourcing Network and the NFDA. As a diffusion index, figures above 50 signal strength, while readings below 50 signal weakness.

Fifty-four percent of respondents stated July fastener sales were weaker than June. Of the items measured (sales, employment, delivery times, inventories and customer inventories) weaker top-line sentiment stood out.

However, 50 percent of survey respondents in July indicated a favorable outlook for expected North American activity levels in six months, the highest monthly figure since February (55 percent), and a solid uptick from June (42 percent).

According to the report, the results are consistent with slowing year-over-year sales from Fastenal (+3.2 percent in July versus a five year average of +13.5 percent), Grainger (+1 percent in June) and MSC (estimated +2.2 percent in June, versus +7.6 percent last year).

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