Distributor Pandemic Index Improves to New Recent High

Major YoY growth from one distributor helped skew the overall growth figure, but the index still would've been positive excluding that outlier.

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Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

Indian River Consulting Group's weekly Distributor Pandemic Index continued to improve its its latest reading amid slow but steady recovery in the US manufacturing sector amid the lasting COVID-19 pandemic.

The index — aimed to show a snapshot of how industrial distributors' sales have fared during the pandemic compared to a year earlier — showed a reading of +6.8 percent for the selling week of Oct. 19-23, meaning that for the 12 distributors surveyed, their average sales for that week were up 6.8 percent year-over-year. It follows readings of +2.6, -0.4, +4.8, -0.7 and +4.9 in the previous four weeks, snapping a recent up-and-down pattern.

IRCG partner Mike Emerson noted that in the latest index, one distributor reported year-over-year growth of 67 percent, helping to skew the overall growth figure. But even excluding that outlier, the overall sales change would still be positive at 1.3 percent.

Six of the 12 distributor respondents reported year-over-year sales increases, ranging from 1 percent to the aforementioned 67 percent. The six distributors with decreases had a range of -1 percent to -22 percent.

IRCG would like to continue increasing the sample size for the PRI, so if you would like to include your company, reach out to IRCG partner Mike Emerson at memerson@ircg.com.

The chart below shows the percent change in sales in 2020 compared with the same week in 2019, unadjusted for additional selling days for the week of July 4 and Labor Day:

Ircg Pandemic Revenue Index Oct 19 23 2020

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