A Light in the Darkness

By Susan Bloom

Between unprecedented product and supply chain issues, delivery delays, labor shortages, commodity price increases, and ongoing COVID concerns, businesses everywhere are grappling with major disruption and uncertainty.  The question is, how long will this troubling situation last?

The NAED’s Economic and Industry Sector Outlook can help answer that.

Available for an annual subscription price of $850 or a one-off investment of just $250 for the Fourth Quarter 2021 edition, the quarterly Economic and Industry Sector Outlook contains a wealth of key economic indicators, influencers, and insights that will help industry professionals stay on top of the $100 billion electrical distribution industry and its major market segments — all in one convenient place and user-friendly format.

Desperate Times
As author of the quarterly Economic and Industry Sector Outlook, seasoned NAED Research and Data Analyst Erin Prinster fully understands the difficult situation distributors are currently in.  Though demand and business activity are strong, “they still have their customers calling to ask ‘where is this?  Where is that?’ as a result of major supply chain issues,” she shared during the October 19th edition of the “DistributED with tED Magazine” podcast.  “These days, distributors are busy just trying to manage logistics.” At the same time, she said, “inflation is top-of-mind for everybody and we’re really keeping a close eye on that because it’s a good indicator of how the coming months are going to be.”

According to Prinster, the Fourth Quarter 2021 edition of the Economic and Industry Sector Outlook features some notable user-friendly upgrades, including larger fonts, bigger graphs, a simpler flow, and summaries, predictions, and/or takeaways at the top of each page.  “The Executive Summary is also a bit lighter and the intro video that I offer provides a quick, high-level summary expressly designed for busy professionals,” she said.  “The bottom line is, the report is easier than ever for our members to read.”

Prinster remains an important resource as well and is readily available to answer any questions members may have, discuss analyses in greater depth, or share her predictions.  “More and more members are reaching out to me to have me speak at their senior staff meetings,” she noted, “either to talk about the Economic Outlook and how to best use it in their operations or to discuss my projections for economic conditions and business forces in the future.”

An Invaluable Tool for Distributors
From his vantage point as Manager, Market Intelligence at St. Louis-based Graybar (, Dennis Shaw confirmed that the NAED’s quarterly Economic and Industry Sector Outlook is an invaluable tool which enhances their strategic planning function.

“Graybar is always seeking to gain a deeper understanding of conditions impacting the electrical distribution industry,” Shaw said of his company’s decision to subscribe.  “Because of NAED’s strong research capabilities and industry insight, we had confidence that the Economic Outlook would be a credible source of information and guidance.”

“Though we subscribe to a number of economic and industry reports, we added NAED’s Economic Outlook to our research portfolio because it offers in-depth commentary and a variety of useful charts that complement our other sources,” he said.  “The addition of periodic video updates throughout the quarter really make the report timely and relevant.”

In terms of how Graybar uses the information, Shaw said that the report is shared with their corporate and district executives on a quarterly basis.  “It provides a comprehensive look at national and regional economic and market conditions as well as guidance on areas of opportunity that could impact our business,” he said.

Overall, Shaw concluded, “we’ve found NAED’s Economic Outlook to be a helpful resource for understanding market and economic trends affecting our industry.”

Stay Informed
From up-to-the-minute reporting on such key economic indicators as copper prices, unemployment, inflation, and GDP to the state of construction in over 100 different Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) where distributors do business and current market growth opportunities within 11 distribution-focused segments, the Economic and Industry Sector Outlook is your one-stop-shop for all of the important data, trends, analysis, projections, challenges, opportunities, and forces impacting our industry each quarter.

So don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay informed with the Fourth Quarter 2021 edition of the NAED’s Economic and Industry Sector Outlook, available now.  To subscribe for an annual fee of $850 or to purchase the quarterly issue for $250, contact the NAED Member Engagement Team at, click this link for more information on the NAED website, or order it here.


Bloom is a 25-year veteran of the lighting and electrical products industry. Reach her at


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