Despite the noise coming from Washington, distributors should expect growth in the near term, followed by a slowdown late in 2013 and into 2014, economist Alan Beaulieu wrote in the February issue of the NAW Advisor.

“If you have seen me talk at NAW presentations, you know that I have been saying this for years and nothing in the leading indicators or economic data has convinced me to change my mind,” Beaulieu wrote.

National Association of Wholesalers and DistrbutorsThe Congressional Budget Office recently released a forecast of slow growth throughout 2013, followed by increased growth in 2014 – the opposite of Beaulieu’s forecast. “That outlook is unreasonable in the light of leading indicators that are beginning to signal that the U.S. economy will be on the backside of the business cycle in late 2013,” Beaulieu wrote.

He cited as leading indicators a downward trend in retail sales late in the year and negative  trends in corporate bond prices.

“Prepare yourselves for increased activity throughout the year,” Beaulieu wrote. “Ensure your policies and procedures are up to the task. Above all, lead with a positive attitude. Recession will come soon enough. No need to spur it along by allowing pessimism to penetrate your company.”


Alan’s action step for the month is to cross-train employees. This will allow for business expansion in 2013 without the need to hire additional workers. It will also position the company to digest a mild slowdown in 2014.


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