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Survey Shows Buyers Are Cautious

Thomas Register, an information resource for supply-chain purchasing, announced the results of its December Industrial Purchasing Barometer (IPB) Survey, which revealed that about two-thirds (66%) of industrial buyers are cautiously proceeding and buying only what they absolutely need.

The December IPB Survey was conducted randomly among Thomas Register's pool of 700,000 opt-in online users. Respondents from the manufacturing and engineering industries, wholesale trade, distribution and government buyers participated in the survey, which asked about their attitudes toward purchasing in the current environment with the following results:

• "Wait and see … holding off on purchasing" -- 6%

• "Cautiously proceeding … buying only what I absolutely need" -- 66%

• "Back to business as usual" -- 20%

• "Not letting anything get in my way … stockpiling as a solution" -- 3%

• Other -- 5%

The results suggest a decreasing level of confidence, as compared to a similar survey conducted in November 2001 in which 45 percent of buyers were "cautiously proceeding" and 46 percent indicated it was "back to business as usual."

"Economic turbulence over the past year has chipped away at the confidence of the industrial community," said Ruth Hurd, publisher of Thomas Register. "However, the survey results indicate that purchasers are continuing to move ahead, albeit more cautiously, in the face of significant uncertainty and the threat of war."

Thomas Register has a long history of monitoring the psyche of industrial buyers. The monthly IPB Barometer was implemented to track the changing attitudes and behavior of the industrial purchasing community.

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