The Supplier Sentiment Index for March 2011 fell slightly to 66 from 71 in January, as more suppliers are feeling “somewhat more pessimistic.” That is according to the latest survey results from the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA), released March 16. While suppliers are more comfortable with production releases from the automotive OEMs and sales levels, the changing sentiment is in response to the increasing oil prices and conflict in the Middle East, the report noted.
“Concern over oil prices have tempered optimism,” stated one respondent. Another respondent said, “Optimistic, however very concerned that the events in the Middle East and rising gas prices may impact recovery.” These were two of many comments expressing these same concerns and putting a damper on optimism.
Some 26% of production releases were inflated in the March 2011 survey, up from 25% of those that said they inflate production releases in March 2010. While confidence levels that these production releases match current sales and inventory levels remain high (63% of suppliers responding to the survey said they are either “somewhat confident” or “very confident”), there remains “concern over whether inventory levels are being managed and reflected appropriately in volumes.”...