The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: October 24, 2007

August Machine Tool Consumption Up 6.2% YTD

August U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $347.25 million, according to rhe Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors'Association. This total was up 26.6% from July, and up 9.7% from the total of $316.44 million reported for August 2006. With a year-to-date total of $2,609.41 million, 2007 was up 6.2% compared with 2006.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program. Machine tool orders have outpaced last year's results due in part to the decline in the dollar's strength, which is making manufacturing in the U.S. more competitive," said John B. Byrd III, AMT president.&nbsp ; "However, it may be difficult to sustain the current ...

Economic Halloween?

Economist Alan Beaulieu (of the Institute for Trend Research) is well-known in the distribution world as a prolific speaker at association events and often remembered for his frightening Recession in 2009-2010 theory. When I asked him recently whether there were opponents to that idea, he replied honestly: Of course."
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Beaulieu's forecast is based on the idea that we are already in a slowdown in part due to the housing decline, high interest rates, baby boomers' approaching retirement (resulting in&nbsp ; government budget strain),&nbsp ; high oil prices (and the impact that will have on consumer spending) and demand for oil in India and China, inflation and pressure on wages, and a slowdown in business spending. He uses a series of graphs that show how the current trends ...

MSC Sales Grow 28% to $1.7 billion in Fiscal 2007

MSC Industrial Direct Inc., Melville, NY, distributor of MRO supplies to industrial customers in the U.S., reported sales in fiscal year 2007 ended Sept. 1 were $1.7 billion, up 28.1%. J & L Industrial Supply was acquired in June 2006, and contributed $218.9 million for the first three quarters of fiscal 2007.
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Profit for the year was $173.9 million, an increase of 27.5%.
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Sales for the fourth quarter were $450.5 million, up 16.7% from the prior-year period. Profit was up 39% to $47.4 million.
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The fourth quarter marked the completion of MSC's integration of J & L. MSC has completed the consolidation of J & L's distribution centers and support functions into MSC. Sales force training program has seen good initial progress" as the company looks ...

Ryerson Reorganizes

Metals distributor Ryerson Inc., Chicago, IL, has taken the initial steps in a reorganization following its acquisition by buyout firm Platinum Equity.
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On Monday, Platinum made several appointments to the company's senior leadership team:

  • Robert Archambault was named Interim CEO. Archambault is a partner at Platinum Equity overseeing the Ryerson investment.
  • Stephen Makarewicz was been appointed as President and COO. Makarewicz was previously President of Ryerson South.
  • Terence Rogers was appointed as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Rogers was previously Vice President of Finance for Ryerson.

As part of the reorganization, Neil Novich, ...

Acquisitions Help Snap-On Grow 14% in 3Q

Snap-on Inc., Kenosha, WI, manufacturer and marketer of tools, diagnostics and equipment solutions for professional users, reported sales in the third quarter 2007 were $680.7 million, up 14.5% over the prior-year period.
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Sales include $48.6 million from the November 2006 acquisition of Business Solutions and $19.3 million of currency translation. Partially offsetting the sales increase was $22.5 million of lower sales from the wind down of an OEM facilitation program.
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Profit was $41.1 million.
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Tools Group segment sales of $262 million increased 7.4%, from prior-year levels, including a 5.4% increase in North America. Sales in the company's international franchise operations increased 15.4%, primarily due to continued strong sales growth in ...

Praxair Sales Buoyed by Growth in Asia, S. America

Praxair, Inc., Danbury, CT, reported third-quarter 2007 sales of $2.37 billion, 13% above the prior-year period. Profit grew 23% to $305 million.
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Sales were led by strong growth in Asia and South America from new business and project start-ups, and continued stable growth in North America.
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In North America, third-quarter sales reached $1.3 billion, 10% above the prior year. Growth came primarily from higher sales to energy and general manufacturing markets.
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In Europe, third-quarter sales of $325 million increased 11%, and 4% excluding currency effects, versus the prior year. Underlying sales growth came from all major regions and end-markets.
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In South America, third-quarter sales of $419 million grew 23% from the prior-year ...

Atlas Copco 3Q Organic Growth at 19%

Diversified manufacturer Atlas Copco reported organic sales growth of 19% in the third quarter 2007.

In North America, demand for industrial equipment and related aftermarket products increased. Demand for advanced assembly tools and systems from the motor vehicle industry, however, decreased from the prior year.

The mining industry in North America -particularly Mexico and Canada -remained active with strong increases in demand for drilling and loading equipment as well as for consumables. Demand from the construction market was weaker, but still at a healthy level," Atlas Copco reported.

In South America, the company saw strong growth in Brazil with sales increases in compressors, mining and construction equipment and industrial tools. Demand was also ...

September Housing Starts Fall 10.2% from August

Housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,191,000, 10.2% below the revised August estimate and 30.8% below the revised September 2006 rate.
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Single-family housing starts were 1.7% below the August rate.
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Year-to-Date Percent Change

Motion Industries Acquires Meier Transmission

Motion Industries, Birmingham, AL, MRO distributor, has acquired Meier Transmission. Meier has two locations in northeast Ohio and is a distributor of motion control products, mechanical and electrical drives, pneumatic controls, machine safety products, and power transmission products.

Brian McMahon will remain in charge of Meier, and the company will operate under the name Meier Transmission. The company will join Motion's new automation and systems businesses.

Motion had sales of $3.1 billion in 2006. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts ...