The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: March 25, 2009

MDM Interview: Grainger’s Global View

Grainger continues to strengthen its global operations; recently it tapped Acklands-Grainger President Court Carruthers to a newly created post, president of international businesses. As part of that, Grainger also recently named D.G. Macpherson to oversee Grainger's global supply chain operations.
 
In this interview with MDM, Carruthers talks about Grainger's plans globally, business improvements at Acklands-Grainger, and how the distributor views talent recruitment and retention. Carruthers has been with Grainger in Canada since the summer of 2002. He has been the president of Acklands-Grainger there since the end of 2006.

MDM: Why did Grainger put this position in place? What are your goals in this new role?
 
Court ...

U.S. Conference Board, Canadian Composite Indexes Decline at Start of Year

U.S.
Each of the three economic indexes provided by The Conference Board posted declines of 0.4 percent for the month. The Conference Board Leading Economic Index February decline follows a slight increase in January. Between August 2008 and February 2009, the index fell 2.1 percent, faster than the decline of 1.6 percent (a -3.1 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained widespread. The Leading Economic Index for the U.S. now stands at 98.5, continuing a downward trend that began in July 2007.

Six of the indicators that make up the LEI increased in February, including the interest rate spread, index of supplier deliveries (vendor performance), building permits, real money supply, ...

MDM News Digest 3906

Graybar, St. Louis, MO, distributor of electrical and communications products and related supply chain management and logistics services, reported sales were $5.4 billion in 2008, an increase of 2.7 percent from 2007. The company also posted profit of $87.4 million, up 4.8 percent. More
Dutch holding company ERIKS group has acquired Arnold Frommeyer GmbH & Co. KG, a German distributor of mechanical engineering components for use primarily in sealing technology, fluid technology, maintenance products and tools. Frommeyer has 15 employees and generates annual sales of €3 million.

Monthly Wholesale Trade: January 2009

January 2009 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $326.1 billion, down 2.9 percent from the revised December level and were down 15.4 percent from January 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
 
January sales of durable goods were down 6.5 percent from last month and were down 17.3 percent from a year ago. Compared with last month, sales of machinery, equipment, and supplies were down 10.8 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were up 0.3 percent from last month, but were down 13.7 percent from last year. Sales of chemicals and allied products were down 4.9 percent from last month, while sales of drugs and druggists' ...

DXP Enterprises: Supply Chain Services, Repair Remain Strong

When sales declined 11 percent in January, industrial distributor DXP Enterprises turned to Plan B: Expand products and services, grab market share and reduce the bets on the table. The plan may not be unique but the fact that it is already working - February and March results improved, according to President and CEO David Little - offers a positive outlook for the distributor for the rest of 2009.

The worst-case scenario presented during its year-end conference call by the distributor of pumping, supply chain management and MROP products and services was for sales to be down 20 percent in 2009. That's based on multiplying January's results by 12 months, Little says.

"There's not a lot of clarity on what's ...

GDP Shrinks 6.3% in Fourth Quarter 2008

Real gross domestic product - the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in the U.S. - decreased at an annual rate of 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, (from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP decreased 0.5 percent.
 
These GDP estimates are based on more complete source data than were available for the preliminary estimates issued last month. In the preliminary estimates, the decrease in real GDP was 6.2 percent.
 
The decrease in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from exports, personal consumption expenditures, equipment and software, and residential fixed investment that ...

Global Report: Mexico Hit by Export Slowdown to U.S.

This is part of an MDM series of articles looking at growth opportunities globally.
 
The remaining optimism at the beginning of the global financial and credit crisis very often came from emerging markets. Though those markets' growth slowed, they still saw growth, contrary to the negative trends seen in the U.S. Growth forecasts for Brazil, for example, were revised downward, but remained positive, and India continued to see investment growth.
 
And another emerging market - Mexico - continued to steadily plod along even as its trading partners suffered from a barrage of bad news. The picture has since darkened for many of these countries.

Until a few months ago, it was believed that the emerging markets, and ...

Commentary: A Positive Spin on News in a Negative Time

In a short time, we have grown accustomed to reading (and in my case, writing) articles and headlines filled with words like, decrease, "decline" and "fall." That's why when, as reported this month, housing starts saw a slight increase, and new orders for durable goods went up, the words "unexpectedly" and "surprising" started to appear. Confidence went up, at least a little - badly needed in our battered economy.
 
That said, as soon as the word "increase" and all its synonyms came back, however briefly, there were plenty of economists and analysts ready to moderate our excitement that things might finally be hitting rock bottom. "The modest signs of stability in the U.S. economy are ...

MDM March 25, 2009

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