The February 2017 Beer Purchasers' Index for total beer at 43.8 saw a slight increase from the January 2017 reading of 42.2; however, the January 2017 reading was still below the January 2016 reading of 52.6. This low index indicates a continued contraction for the second month of 2017 for beer orders. Overall, we can expect to see slower beer shipments in the first quarter. On a positive note, the index for "at risk inventory" declined by 1 point, from 55.2 in January 2017 to 54.0 in February 2017. As inventories are depleted in Q1, the industry should see lower "at risk" index readings.
The BPI survey asks purchasers at beer distributorships if they ordered more beer, about the same or less beer from their suppliers in the current month. The results are reported as a composite diffusion index where a reading greater than 50 indicates the segment is expanding, and a reading below 50 indicates the segment is contracting. Full BPI results covering all industry segments over time are available to participating NBWA distributor members. The survey window to collect responses is relatively short (about 10 days) and survey results are typically published to participants within 24 hours after the survey closes.
Participating NBWA distributor members also get the first look at a measure of "at risk" inventories by segment - at risk measures the volume of beer considered to be at risk of going out of code within the next 30 days.
The next BPI survey (for March purchases) will run from March 10 through March 17 and results will be released to participating distributors on March 20.