The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: July 15, 2008

Wholesale Prices Jump 1.8% in June

Wholesale prices increased 1.8 percent in June, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This increase followed advances of 1.4 percent in May and 0.2 percent in April.
 
At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods rose 2.1 percent in June after moving up 2.9 percent in the prior month, and the crude goods index increased 3.7 percent following a 6.7-percent gain in May.
 
Within finished goods, the index for energy goods climbed 6.0 percent in June after rising 4.9 percent in May. Prices for consumer foods increased 1.5 percent subsequent to a 0.8-percent advance in the previous month, and the index for finished goods other than foods and energy (core inflation) ...

Niantic Seal Buys Northeast Rubber Products

Niantic Seal Inc., Lincoln, RI, a subsidiary of The INSCO Group, has acquired Northeast Rubber Products, Inc., Framingham, MA, a distributor and fabricator of industrial rubber products.
 
The new entity will operate from its facility in Framingham, MA, doing business as Northeast Rubber Products, a division of Niantic Seal, Inc. Both business units are included in INSCO's newly formed Performance Materials Group.
 
According to INSCO, the two companies have shared equal regional market presence in the seal and industrial rubber products market.
 
We view our new strategic alignment with Niantic Seal as an exciting growth opportunity for both entities," said Mike Bacon, founder of Northeast Rubber Products. "Going forward, we will now offer a broader ...

Cummins-Wagner Agrees to Buy Siewert Equipment

Cummins-Wagner Co., Inc., Annapolis Junction, MD, a distributor of industrial process equipment and HVAC equipment in the mid-Atlantic region, has agreed to acquire Rochester, NY-based Siewert Equipment Co., Inc.
 
SECO employs 47 people, with branch offices in New York and Florida. SECO is a distributor/manufacturers'representative selling fluid process equipment and provides assembly, aftermarket service and engineered solutions.
 
The transaction is part of Cummins-Wagner's business strategy of steady, manageable growth through market penetration and acquisition.
 
SECO employees will become part of Cummins-Wagner's 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
 
Cummins-Wagner employs 115 ...

Eaton Sales Grow 32% in 2Q

Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp., Cleveland, OH, reported sales of $4.28 billion for second quarter 2008, 32% above the second quarter of 2007. Profit was $333 million, an increase of 35% over the same quarter in 2007.
 
Sales growth in the second quarter consisted of 19% from acquisitions, 8% from organic growth, and 5% from exchange rates.
 
Our businesses performed extremely well in the second quarter, generating strong sales growth and record profits. We were able to achieve these results despite the nearly 40% rise in oil prices during the quarter," said Alexander M. Cutler, Eaton CEO.
 
"With 20% of our revenue from emerging countries and with continued strength in many of our product markets, we believe we are well-positioned to ...

Grainger Sales Grow 10% in 2Q

Chicago, IL-based Grainger reported sales of $1.8 billion for the second quarter ended June 30, 2008, up 10% over the second quarter 2007. Profit increased 8% to $113 million from the same quarter the prior year.
 
We are very pleased with the 10% sales growth in the quarter," said Grainger President and CEO James T. Ryan. "We are making market share gains in a slowing economy."
 
Daily sales increased 13% in April, 7 percent in May and 10% in June. For the quarter, sales were positively affected by price by 2 percentage points, foreign exchange by 1 percentage point, and by the timing of Easter, which also contributed 1 percentage point.
 
Grainger Branch-based Segment
Sales for this segment, which includes branch-based businesses in the U.S., ...

Air Liquide Expands in Middle East

Paris-based Air Liquide has acquired Pure Helium, a supplier of liquid and gaseous helium, helium-based mixtures and argon, based in India.
 
Air Liquide Senior Executive Vice President Pierre Dufour says the move strengthens the company's position in the Middle East and opens other opportunities for expansion in the region.
 
Air Liquide, an international supplier of industrial and medical gases and medical services, plans to invest US$1 billion in the Persian Gulf region over the next five ...

Steel Moves Leave Experts Scratching Their Heads

On July 11, US Steel announced an increase of $40 per short ton on flat-rolled steel effective with September deliveries. In addition, AK Steel will be raising carbon steel prices by $50 per ton on September 1. These moves came just after analysts were starting to believe that U.S. prices may be hitting their peaks and preparing to level off.
 
It's significant because it underscores the idea that Tom Balcerek, North American editor of Steel Business Briefing, expressed during my recent interview with him for our July 10 issue: A lot of experts are scratching their heads on where exactly this market will go in the next month or even the next year.
 
The one thing that is certain is that 2008 has been like no other year in the steel business. I asked each of the ...

Trade Service Corp., IDEA Don’t Renew Agreement

After extended negotiations, e-commerce organizations Trade Service Corp. and IDEA have mutually agreed not to renew their 10-year data-sharing agreement effective July 20, 2008. Both organizations serve the electrical distribution industry.
 
Trade Service partnered in the development of IDEA, initially licensing over 1.2 million SKUs. Trade Service shared its data with IDEA and provided weekly updates.
 
In its press release, IDEA said it has increased its capacity for data sourcing to immediately accommodate changes as a result of this decision. The organization said it remains a service-oriented, customer-centric organization serving the electrical channel manufacturers' and distributors' needs."
 
"This is an exciting time for our company," Trade ...