MAFSI Barometer “Less Bad” In Second Quarter

Sales of equipment, supplies and furnishings declined 3.3% in the second quarter 2010, according to reps reporting for the Business Barometer fielded by the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry. While sales as tracked by the MAFSI Barometer were negative for the 10th consecutive quarter, it was the “least bad” decline since the second quarter ’08. Sales fell 5.3% in the first quarter and a record 12.8% in the fourth quarter ’09.

On a product basis, equipment sales were off 4.5%, compared with a 7.5% decline in the first quarter. Furnishings sales fell 0.4% and tabletop products were off 1.5%, Sales of supplies rose 0.4%.

Among the regions, the West continued to show the largest declines. Overall sales fell 5.1% with equipment sales off nearly 8%. Overall sales dropped 3.8% in the Midwest, 4.9% in the South and 2.4% in the Northeast. In Canada, sales rose 2.2%. Operator traffic and sales have been positive in Canada since mid-year ’09.

While the reps are a bit more upbeat about sales in the third quarter—they forecast a decline of 2.3%—they also report a weak market. Only 23% said they are seeing more consultant activity and only 40% reported they are quoting more work. This augers a continuing, slow E&S recovery.

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