The 3rd quarter tED magazine/Baird study shows modest gains among distributors who took part in the survey, and optimism for larger gains in 2014.
Baird interviewed 60 distributors and 5 manufacturers that have a combined annual revenue of approximately $8 billion.
The Baird research shows 3rd quarter revenue for 2013 is up 2.4% for electrical distributors compared to the 3rd quarter of 2012, while pricing was up less than 1%. Also, participants initial outlook for the rest of 2013 and 2014 is optimistic, with low single digit growth. For datacomm, 3rd quarter revenue was up 3.8%, while pricing was flat. Growth in the 4th quarter of 2013 and in 2014 is 3.3% and 5.3%.
Some of the comments on why the revenue forecasts are up for 2014 include, “C&I market is flat, however, we believe this will change next year with C&I growing modestly”, “Our customers have begun to see capital projects get green lights – but it will take some time for us to see the related revenues”, and “We are seeing strong demand for automation as manufacturing comes back to the U.S.”.
The news is better for improvement in non-residential construction for 2014. Some of the comments from people who took the survey include, “We were eating into construction backlog a bit in July/August, but it has grown again in September”. Another respondent said, “The industrial market remains relatively flat, but a lot of large project work is a positive.” Most people surveyed in the Electrical and Datacomm fields say they expect no change in their non-residential construction outlook for 2014, with very few seeing it either worse or slightly better.
When it comes to pricing, copper had brought trends down slightly in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Some of the comments include, “By and large, copper pricing is flat to a little bit aggressive”, and “Copper/commodities are assisting on a sequential quarter basis.”
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