Distributor Pandemic Index Falls to Slightly Negative

It followed a recent new high for the index, even though seven of the 13 distributors surveyed reported a sales increase.

Warehouse 54a
Mike Hockett/Industrial Distribution

Indian River Consulting Group's weekly Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) fell into the slight negative for the selling week of Oct. 26-Oct. 30, but overall held within the range the index has maintained since mid-September.

The PRI — aimed to show a snapshot of how industrial distributors' sales have fared during the pandemic compared to a year earlier — showed a reading of -0.4 percent for the latest week, meaning that for the 13 distributors surveyed (1 more than the week before), their average sales for that week were down 0.4 percent year-over-year. It follows readings of +6.8, +2.6, -0.4, +4.8, -0.7 and +4.9 in the previous five weeks.

IRCG partner Mike Emerson noted that in the latest PRI, seven of the 13 distributors reported increases, ranging from 1 to 27 percent, while the range of the six decreases ranged from 1 to 25 percent.

"It’s interesting to note how the PRI has tracked with federal GDP data," Emerson said. "GDP decreased 9 percent in the second quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019 per the Bureau of Economic Analysis while the PRI averaged a decrease of 10.6 percent. In the third quarter, GDP was reported to decrease 2.9 percent while the PRI averaged an increase in 0.1 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 26 30 2020

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