After starting the month with its highest reading in several months, Indian River Consulting Group's weekly Distributor Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) has regressed over the past two weeks and entered the week of Christmas just above breakeven.
The PRI — aimed to provide a snapshot of how industrial distributors' sales have fared year-over-year amid the pandemic — had a reading of +0.3 for the selling week of Dec. 14-18, meaning that for the 14 distributors surveyed, their sales were up an average of 0.3 percent year-over-year. It followed a mark of +2.9 percent for the week of Dec. 7-11 and readings of +12.5, +5.0, +3.7 and -1.8 in the four weeks prior. Though it was a second-straight deceleration and the lowest reading since the week of Nov. 9-13, it was the PRI's fifth-straight positive reading.
Of the 14 firms surveyed, eight reported increases, with a range of 2 to 28 percent. For the six distributors reporting declines, the range was 2 to 43 percent.
"I would expect the next two weeks to show increases simply because Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Fridays this year vs. Wednesday last year," IRCG partner Mike Emerson noted. "Any true trend probably won’t be apparent until mid-January."
IRCG would like to increase the sample size for the PRI, so if you would like to include your company, reach out to Emerson at email@example.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: