The National Beer Wholesalers Association’s (NBWA’s) Beer Purchasers’ Index (BPI) is a monthly statistical release giving distributors a timely and reliable indicator of industry beer purchasing activity. Similar to the widely recognized Purchasing Managers’ Index, the BPI is a net rising index and a leading indicator of industry performance based on surveyed responses from participating beer purchasers.
The November 2017 Beer Purchasers’ Index for total beer at 47.7 is slightly lower than the October 2017 reading of 50.5. The total beer index for November 2017 also saw a significant decrease over the November 2016 reading of 56.8. The back-and-forth between expanding and contracting purchasing volumes started in the late summer and has continued into the fourth quarter of 2017. The index for both craft and import segments remain above the 50 index for all months of 2017.
The survey asks purchasers at beer distributorships if they ordered more beer and 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.
NBWA Chief Economist Lester Jones said, “The index for both craft and import segments remain above the 50 index for all months in 2017, with craft hitting a higher November 2017 reading at 67 vs. imports at 61. These two high end segments started tracking each other much closer over the past few months. Premium Lights and Regular Premium posted slightly lower readings and are still below the 50 mark. The Below Premium segment remained at 38, which is slightly higher than previous months in 2017.”
The FMB segment registered its third consecutive month below the 50 index. The Cider segment continues to contract, posting an index reading of 24. For the second month, the “At Risk” inventory measure for November posted another reading below the 50 index, indicating that distributors are only reporting a slightly lower amount of inventory at risk of going out of code within the next 30 days.