NFPA Market Outlook Report: Pursuit of a Fully Baked Replacement

MOR CoverThe Market Outlook Report (MOR) has been a staple in the menu of NFPA market information offerings for over 15 years. It was never a main course item, like the Confidential Shipment Statistics or Forecast Services, but it was a frequently downloaded and appreciated side dish of sorts.

The MOR provided an overview of trends and some forecasts, for general economic indicators, some key industries, and industrial production in Germany and Japan, along with brief commentary for each. Both the trend data and the forecasts were based on quarterly time intervals.  This is unique and valuable in that the trends and forecasts can align directly with quarterly performance and planning cycles for many companies.

It was created for NFPA by Steve Crane, PhD, a professor of economics at Marquette University and principal of C3 Statistical Solutions. Steve informed us recently of a need to shift his focus, and as a result, he can no longer produce the MOR.  And the next MOR is due…right about now.  The oven isn’t even warm.

With very short lead time, the temptation is to slap something together in its place. Like rolling out a Special of the Day from last week’s leftovers.  Yuck.  We’re going to resist that temptation.  Better to make sure we proceed with patience, make good use of time, and produce something of likely value than to just fill a hole in the menu with something half baked.

So we’re looking at options, including:

  • creating a replacement report ourselves, using available data and possibly the new Stats Toolkit…but we don’t have a source for quarterly forecasts, and the Toolkit isn’t built for quarterly analysis;
  • finding an outside provider who can create something similar, and possibly with improvements…but we haven’t yet found a budget-compatible option.

So, please be patient. As always, our intention is to look at our overall market information menu and fill gaps with something valued and satisfying, and that represent good investments of member dues.

We’ll keep you posted. And in the meantime, ideas can be sent to Pete Alles (palles@nfpa.com) and Eric Armstrong (earmstrong@nfpa.com).

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