FCH Sourcing Network and the National Fastener Distributors Association released their monthly Fastener Distributor Index (FDI) for December on Wednesday, showing a modest increase over November.
The seasonally-adjusted December FDI showed a mark of 57.6, up from November's 56.9 — indicating continued market expansion and at an accelerated rate. It was a reversal from two straight months of deceleration in November and October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion, while any reading below 50 indicates contraction.
The FDI's Forward-Looking-Indicator — aimed to provide a directional perspective on future expectations for fastener market conditions — also showed continued optimism by showing a seasonally-adjusted reading of 59.6, up from November's 57.7.
According to the FDI, 43 percent of respondents said sales were better relative to seasonal expectations, down slightly compared to 50 percent in November. But that is still considerably improved from the 31 percent average in 2016.
Looking at other FDI metrics in December:
--Seasonally-adjusted sales index declined to 68.4 from 72.8 in November
--Employment index improved to 58.6 from 53.1 in November
--Respondent Inventories index dipped to 68.6 from 68.8 in November
--Customer Inventories index dipped to 37.1 from 37.5 in November
--Month-to-Month Pricing index increased to 67.1 from 64.1 in November
--Year-to-Year Pricing index increased to 82.9 from 78.1 in November
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