By Katie Dempsey

The wholesale and distribution industry had some positive economic indicators in the first quarter of 2014; statistics either remained consistent with historical norms or increased.

Jobs increased 0.73% from February to March, which is consistent with the March increases over the last four years.  Job numbers seem to be consistent with the projection of the growth in consumer spending, which means more growth for the overall economy through the middle of this year. The private sector is projected to slow in the second half of 2014 which will result in a slower growth economy.

US exports are up 2% from last year and imports are down 0.4%. The increase in exports suggests that there are sales opportunities in the global communities for wholesaler-distributors who export. The gains are modest but will help supplement domestic sales.

Economic Indicators for the Wholesale/Distribution Industry

  • Annual Retail Sales were $2.7 trillion in February, 4% higher than the prior year
  • Industrial production increased 3.3% from last February
  • From February to March, Long-Term Government Bond Yields rose 7 basis points to 2.73%
  • Customer inflation increased 1.4% from this time in 2013
  • Non-Defense Capital Goods New Orders are expected to conclude 2014 0.7% higher than the 2013 level

In early April, the central bank issues capital rules for the nation’s largest banks. By 2017, the eight largest banks will be required to raise an additional $68 billion in capital to ensure liquidity in the event of a financial crisis. With the banks having additional capital, this would likely subdue a short-term credit crunch in the future. However, it may also make it more difficult for borrowers to obtain funds in the short term while the banks are raising this capital.