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MAFSI Business Barometer Reports Second Quarter Gain of 3.6 Percent

Reps Forecast 4.1 percent growth for the third quarter of 2012

Sales for the second quarter of 2012 increased by 3.6 percent, according to the Business Barometer published by the Manufacturers' Agents' for the Food Equipment Industry (MAFSI). In comparison, sales in the first quarter of this year increased by 4 percent, according to MAFSI. This marks the seventh consecutive quarter of growth registered by the MAFSI Business Barometer.

MAFSI reps project a gain of 4.1 percent for the third quarter of 2012. In addition, the percent of reps quoting more activity lowered to 44 percent in the second quarter, down from 58.8 percent in the previous quarter. Also, 32.8 percent of reps report more consultant activity, down from 49.6 percent last quarter.

By region, sales increased 5.8 percent in the Northeast, 5.1 percent in the West, 5.1 percent in Canada, 3.9 percent in the South and 1.3 percent in the Midwest. By product categories, sales grew by 4.2 percent in supplies, 3.8 percent in foodservice equipment, 3.1 percent in tabletop and a 0.1 percent in furnishings.

All data throughout the Q2 2012 report indicates that growth continues but at a moderate rate. After a steep three-year decline and a sharp two-year ascent, we are now in the midst of a prolonged period of slow but steady growth, which is probably the best kind in terms of sustainability.