The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: April 13, 2009

Fastenal Sales Fall 13.6% in First Quarter

The Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, reported sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009, were $489.3 million, a decline of 13.6% from sales of $566.2 million in the first quarter 2008. Profits fell to $48.6 million, a decrease of 28.5%.
In the first quarter 2009, Fastenal opened 33 new stores (compared with 53 new stores in the prior-year period).
In stores opened greater than five years, sales fell 21.5% in March from March 2008. Sales fell 14.3% in February, and 12.4% in January.
Since Dec. 31, 2008, Fastenal has decreased its work force by 6.6%. According to the release, Fastenal "remains practical optimists and we always try to balance long-term opportunities for growth with the necessary short-term reactions to our current ...

Grainger Posts Double-Digit Drop in 1Q Sales, Profit

Grainger, Chicago, IL, reported first quarter sales of $1.5 billion, down 12% from first quarter 2008. Profit decreased 16% to $96 million.
As part of cost reduction plans announced in February, the company reduced headcount by 200 employees and incurred severance expense of $5 million in the first quarter. The company is on track to meet headcount reductions of 300-400 this year.
"Businesses and institutions have responded to the recession by buying less and looking for ways to improve productivity. We are in a great position to help our customers become more efficient by consolidating their supplier base using our expanded product line especially in these challenging times," said Jim Ryan, president and CEO. "We do not believe that we've seen ...

ERIKS Group Sales Up 10.2% In 1Q

Dutch holding company ERIKS Group reported sales for the first quarter 2009 were € 270 million (US$358 million), up 10.2% from the first quarter of 2008. All positive growth can be attributed to acquisitions realized in 2008. Organic sales contributed a negative 14.6%. Overall demand for ERIKS' products declined in the first quarter.
Cost savings program are currently being executed within the entire ERIKS group. This will result in a cost cutback of approximately € 20 million on an annual ...

Wholesale Prices Fall 1.2% in March

Wholesale prices fell 1.2% in March, seasonally adjusted, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. This decline followed a 0.1% advance in February and a 0.8% increase in January.
At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods fell 1.5% after decreasing 0.9% a month earlier, and the crude goods index declined 0.3% following a 4.5-percent drop in February.
Among finished goods, the index for energy goods turned down 5.5% in March after rising 1.3% in the preceding month. Prices for finished consumer goods less foods and energy inched up 0.1% following a 0.4-percent advance in February. The capital equipment index fell 0.2% in March after moving up 0.1% in the prior month. ...

Praxair Buys Companies in Alabama, Texas

Praxair Distribution Inc., a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), has acquired Alabama Welding Supply of Dolomite, Ala., Fowler Brothers of Birmingham, Ala., and Service Gas Supply,
The acquisitions involve four locations in Alabama and one in Texas. These operations will be integrated into Praxair Distribution's Southern Region.
Praxair Distribution, with sales of $1.7 billion, supplies industrial, specialty and medical gases and related equipment from 500 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Praxair, Inc. is a global industrial gases company with 2008 sales of $10.8 ...

MAPI Report: Recovery May Start In Late 2009

While the global economic picture will remain troubled for the near term, slightly improved U.S. economic data could be a harbinger of positive signals for a grim world landscape, according to a new report.

In the MAPI Quarterly Forecast of U.S. Exports, Global Growth, and the Dollar: Second Quarter 2009 Through Fourth Quarter 2010, economist Cliff Waldman writes that signs of firming demand in the U.S. economy, along with a global move toward historically accommodative monetary policies, suggests that a weak rebound in industrialized country output and a modest acceleration of developing country output could begin in the later months of 2009.

While the rare financial underpinnings of the current global crisis make it more difficult than ever to assess the impact ...