MAFSI Barometer: Sales Fall, Hopes Rise for 2024

Overall sales once again came in lower than expected in Q4, but the forecast for 2024 is optimistic.

MAFSIGraph
Image courtesy of MAFSI.

MAFSI’s Q4 Business Barometer shows overall sales once again were lower than forecasted, coming in at a gain of 1.1% versus 1.7%. Overall sales in Q3/23 were up 2%.

Q4/23 represents the 10th quarter of retrenchment from the post-COVID surge, says Michael R. Posternak, CEO at PBAC and Associates, in the executive summary.

Specifically, compared to Q4/22, the sales percent change by region showed the Northeast was down 0.6% and Canada was down 0.4%, while the West was up 0.1%, the South, 0.5%, and Midwest, 3.2%. Product-wise, throughout North America, overall sales for equipment was up 1%, supply, 0.5%, tabletop, 0.9%, and furniture, 2.9%.

The overall forecast for Q1/24 calls for a gain of 0.5%. Posternak says the foodservice E&S market has entered a period of, at best, flat sales.

Forecast 2024
The forecast for 2024 is an increase of 3.6%. “With less than vibrant data on quoting and consultant measurements, this appears to be optimistic, and very likely based on the hopes for a second half rebound, when comparable numbers will be easier to beat,” Posternak says.

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