The Fastener Distributor Index (FDI) survey for January, 2024.  The FDI opened the year inching up to 49.7 after December’s disappointing 47.5 seasonally adjusted. Likewise, the Forward Looking Indicator (FLI) ticked up, rising to 50.4.

Key Points:
FDI nearly reaches neutral level. After a soft December, the FDI improved m/m and nearly reached the neutral level (49.7 compared to 47.5 in December). Based on comments in last month’s report, holiday-related slowness (vacations, plant shutdowns etc.) was a significant drag on December for many participants, and the absence of such headwinds seemingly drove the sequential rebound in January. All four components of the FDI (sales, employment, supplier deliveries and customer deliveries) were sequentially flat to higher. 44% of respondents indicated sales came in above seasonal expectations which was up significantly vs. the 24% in December and also above the 31% average over the past 12 months. Another 41% said sales were in line (38% in December), while just 15% saw weaker sales than expected (December 38%).

FLI back into growth territory. Similarly, the FLI saw sequential improvement, coming in at 50.4 vs. 49.6 last  month. The FLI has now been above 50 in two of the past three months, indicating expectations for a return to growth/expansion ahead. The m/m improvement in the January FLI reflected slightly lower inventory levels for respondents and a modestly higher six-month outlook. On the outlook specifically, 54% of respondents predicted higher activity six months from now vs. today compared to 55% last month. The percentage anticipating similar activity was 36% compared to 31% in December, while the percentage expecting softer activity was just 10% (last month 14%). This drove the six-month outlook index to register 71.8 vs. 70.7 last month.

Read the full report:


Fastener News Desk encourages all North American fastener distributors to take part in the FDI Monthly Survey.

If you are interested in being a more active part of the fastener industry, you can apply to add your company to the FDI survey group. Complete the Request an Invitation to Participate” form by clicking here. Once verified, you will receive login ID and password information and you will be notified by email every month when the survey period has been opened.

About the Fastener Distributor Index (FDI).

The Fastener Distributor Index (FDI) was developed as a service to the fastener industry by the FCH Sourcing Network in 2012 to be a new benchmark for the fastener industry. The FDI is a monthly survey of North American fastener distributors, conducted with the FCH Sourcing Network and Baird. It offers insights into current fastener industry trends/outlooks. Similarly, the Forward-Looking Indicator (FLI) is based on a weighted average of four forward-looking inputs from the FDI survey. This indicator is designed to provide directional perspective on future expectations for fastener market conditions. As diffusion indexes, values above 50.0 signal strength, while readings below 50.0 signal weakness. Over time, results should be directly relevant to Fastenal (FAST) and broadly relevant to other industrial distributors such as W.W. Grainger (GWW) and MSC Industrial (MSM).

The FDI Survey website is a resource than can be accessed by anyone, but it can only be updated by registered users during the monthly open survey period, which occurs during the last week of each month.

Listen to episode #197 of Fully Threaded Radio for further commentary on the January FDI.


Fastener Distributor Index (FDI) | December 2023

Fastener Distributor, Fastener Distributor Index, Fastener Industry, Fastener News