The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: September 17, 2008

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Acquires Singapore Business

Reliance Steel &Aluminum Co., Los Angeles, CA, has acquired the Singapore operation of HLN Metal Centre Pte. Ltd. Singapore-based HLN Metal processes and distributes custom machined materials and the sawing of metal products and components. The purchase price was $2.6 million.
The business will operate as Reliance Metalcenter Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., focusing on supplying the electronics, semiconductor, and solar energy markets. This acquisition represents an expansion of Reliance Steel &Aluminum Co.'s presence in ...

Brady Corp. Sales Up 12% in Fiscal 2008

Milwaukee, WI-based Brady Corporation reported sales were up 9% to $396.8 for its fiscal 2008 fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year ago. Profit increased 33% to $34.8 million.
For the fiscal year ended July 31, 2008, sales rose 12% to $1.5 billion, compared to sales of $1.4 billion in fiscal 2008. Profit for fiscal year 2008 improved 21% to $132.2 million.

The increase in fourth quarter sales was comprised of acquisition growth adding 3 percent and foreign currency translation contributing 6 percent to sales growth. Organic growth was flat. Regionally, sales were up 16 percent in Europe and 20 percent in Asia/Pacific; sales in the Americas region were flat.
Brady Corporation is a manufacturer and marketer of high-performance labels and ...

MDM Survey: More Readers Expect Economy to Stabilize in the Next 6 Months

Click here to download a pdf of the results.

Concern over the state of the U.S. economy has grown among MDM readers over the past six months even as more believe conditions may soon stabilize, according to the twice yearly MDM Survey on the Economy conducted in August. A similar survey was conducted in February.
Manufacturers who responded to the survey expressed the most concern over the current state of the economy, with 85.1% saying they were "very concerned"or "concerned."Distributors showed slightly less concern, with 80.3% being "very concerned"or "concerned"in the August survey. Readers who believe the economy will worsen dropped to 28.6% from 46.5% in February. More than 13% ...

Housing Starts Fall to Lowest Level in 17 Years

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced new residential construction statistics for August 2008:
Building Permits
Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 854,000.
This is 8.9% below the revised July rate of 937,000 and is 36.4% below the revised August 2007 estimate of 1,343,000.
Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 554,000; this is 5.1% (±1.3%) below the July figure of 584,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 271,000 in August.
Housing Starts
Privately-owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate ...

Thanks to Exports, Manufacturing Still ‘Humming Along’ Despite Recent Market Turmoil

Recent events in the financial industry -Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy protection, Bank of America buying Merrill Lynch, the government stepping in to shore up AIG -have left many wondering how these events together with other factors dampening the economy could affect individual sectors.
Don Norman, an economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, tells MDM that's a good question to be considering but not one that manufacturers and those supplying manufacturers should necessarily panic about, thanks to a solid export market. The reality is that strength in the overall manufacturing sector may be keeping the current economic situation from being a lot worse than it already is. According to Norman, except for companies closely linked to the housing or automotive ...