While distributor still have some tough months ahead of them, most sectors of the economy -– with the notable exception of non-residential construction -- have pretty much bottomed out. That's one of the key takeaways from an economic forecast given by Alan Beaulieu, president, Institute for Trend Research, Bascawen, N.H., at the 2010 Executive Summit of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributrors (NAW), in Washington, D.C., held Jan. 26-28 at the Fairmont Hotel.
“Inventory replenishment is starting,” he said. “2010 is that rocky bottom where the second half is better othan the first. Commercial construction will have to wait until 2011.”
In the not-so-good-news department, he expects inflation to hit 6.5% in 2011, but expects it to stick around the 3.5% mark this year. “Inflation is coming, and it will show up in commodities first.”
Because of his concerns about inflation, he urged meeting attendees to make their capital equipment expenditures and/or building purchases in 2010, before prices go up. Beaulieu will be providing independent manufacturers' reps and electrical manufacturers with a forecast at next month's NEMRA Annual Conference in New York.