The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: June 28, 2007

Canadian Industrial Prices Fall in May

Influenced by the strength of the Canadian dollar, prices in Canada for manufactured products declined in May after six consecutive monthly increases. Crude oil pushed down prices for raw materials.
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From April to May, prices charged by manufacturers, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), registered a&nbsp ; 0.5% decline after six consecutive monthly increases. The decrease in prices basically reflects a drop in the prices for motor vehicles and other transportation equipment as well as primary metal products and pulp and paper products.
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However, higher prices for petroleum and coal products tempered the decline in the Industrial Product Price Index.
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On a 12-month basis, the IPPI advanced&nbsp ; 3%, a slowdown from the&nbsp ...

MSC Industrial Sales Rise 30.7% in 3Q

MSC Industrial Direct Inc., Melville, NY, distributor of MRO supplies to industrial customers throughout the U.S., reported sales of $431 million in third quarter 2007, an increase of 30.7% from the same period a year ago. Sales from the J & L Industrial Supply acquisition accounted for about 74% of the growth.
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Profit in the third quarter 2007 increased 23.6% to $45.8 million, compared with $37 million in the prior-year period.
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For the first nine months of fiscal 2007, sales rose 32.8% to $1.24 billion; J & L represented 72% of this growth. Profit for the first nine months was $126.6 million, an increase of 23.7%.
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MSC reported that the J & L integration was on track. MSC has completed the migration of the distributor to the MSC computer ...

Real GDP Increases at Rate of 0.7% in 1Q

Real gross domestic product -the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in the U.S. -increased at an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter of 2007, according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.&nbsp ; In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.5%.
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The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the preliminary estimates issued last month.&nbsp ; In the preliminary estimates, the increase in real GDP was 0.6%.
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The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, ...

Supreme Court: Minimum Price Resale Agreements Allowed (updated)

The U.S. Supreme Court has made it easier for manufacturers to set minimum resale prices by overturning the per se" illegality of minimum resale price agreements.
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Instead, the Supreme Court ruled that challenges to minimum resale prices will be judged on a case-by-case basis by the "rule of reason," a more flexible legal doctrine that requires the challenger to prove price-setting was anticompetitive and did economic harm.
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"Per se" was a much stricter enforcement that assumed that minimum price setting agreements were on their face illegal, regardless of circumstances. By changing the judgment from "per se" to "rule of reason," the Supreme Court has made it more difficult for challengers of the law to win and less risky for manufacturers to set ...