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Baird Research Study Shows Signs For Growth In 2015

By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED Magazine

“There are a lot of people spending a bunch of money all of a sudden.”

That quote is from one of the respondents to the exclusive tED magazine/Baird Research Group fourth quarter study, and it pretty much sums up the attitude of the industry as we head into 2015.

Respondents indicated a year-to-year increase in revenue at 4.7% on the electrical side, and 3.4% in Datacomm in the fourth quarter of 2014. Baird indicates the increase on the electrical side is due to solid industrial trends and improving non-residential construction activity. It also says while Datacomm has leveled a bit, Baird believes industry trends are starting to become more solid in the beginning of 2015.

Baird received 120 responses to the fourth quarter survey, with annual combined revenue of around $25 billion. Most of the respondents came from the South and Midwest, and nearly 80 percent of the responses were from distributors, with around 20 percent from manufacturers.

When it comes to revenue growth, another of the responses was, “Large markets continue to book very good business. Secondary markets are still lagging a little, but beginning to see signs of life.”

Another key issue is pricing, and the prices of copper and oil.

“Copper pricing drop is devaluing inventory and lowering top-line sales forecasts,” said one respondent, while another noted, “The recent fall of copper and oil pricing will negatively impact short-term margins, but should spur overall market activity in 2015.”

For more on the Baird research and what it means for the 2nd quarter of 2015, how distributors and manufacturers view the IDEA data warehouse and how businesses are rebounding from last year’s long winter, make sure you check out our in-depth column on this research in the April issue of tED magazine.

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