The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: May 14, 2009

Canadian Manufacturing Sales Down 2.7% in March

Canadian manufacturing sales decreased 2.7% to $41.4 billion in March, reversing February's gain, according to Statistics Canada. With this decrease, manufacturing sales have fallen almost 25% from their peak reached in July 2008, with most of the drop occurring between November 2008 and January 2009. Durable goods industries such as aerospace parts and products, motor vehicle parts, and primary metal products were behind most of the losses in March.
 
Much of the decline in manufacturing sales was in Quebec, which accounted for slightly over half of the national decrease.
 
Constant dollar manufacturing sales decreased 2.4% in March to $38.2 billion, indicating that most of the decline was due to a drop in the ...

Building Materials Holding Corp. Sales Fall 51% in 1Q

Building Materials Holding Corp., Boise, ID, distributor and supplier of building materials and construction services, reported sales for the first quarter 2009 fell 51% to $167 million from $343 million in the same quarter a year ago.
 
Net loss for the first quarter was $45.2 million, up from $33.9 million a year ago.
 
The company also reported it is continuing to work with lenders toward a restructuring of its credit facility and balance sheet. BMHC obtained an extension of the waiver from its lenders for its monthly adjusted EBITDA, forecast and projection requirements of its credit agreement - allowing the company to borrow up to $20 million through June 29, 2009.
 
Robert E. Mellor, CEO, said: "The operating environment for the ...

Industrial Production Falls 0.5% in April

Industrial production decreased 0.5% in April after having fallen 1.7% in March.
 
Production in manufacturing declined 0.3% in April and was 16% below its recent peak in December 2007. The decreases in manufacturing in April remained broadly based across industries.
 
Outside of manufacturing, the output of mines fell 3.2%, as oil and gas field drilling and support activities continued to drop. The output of utilities moved up 0.4%.
 
At 97.1% of its 2002 average, industrial output in April was 12.5% below its year-earlier level.
 
The capacity utilization rate for total industry fell further in April, to 69.1%, a low over the history of this series, which begins in 1967.

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Wholesale Prices Edge Up in April

Wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in April, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This rise followed a 1.2-percent decline in March and a 0.1-percent increase in February. 

At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods moved down 0.5 percent following a 1.5-percent decrease a month earlier, and the crude goods index advanced 3.0 percent after declining 0.3 percent in March.       
 
Among finished goods, prices for consumer foods rose 1.5 percent in April following a 0.7-percent decrease in the previous month. The index for finished energy goods edged down 0.1 percent subsequent to a 5.5-percent decline in March. Prices for ...

Veil of Pessimism Lifting from the Economy

Though the unemployment rate continues to rise, other indicators seem to be leveling off.
 
And the Wall Street Journal's regular survey of economists has some relatively good news this week. The respondents say it's possible the recession could be over by this fall.
 
But, according to WSJ: "The depth of the downturn means it will take years to eat up the slack created by the recession. Nearly half of the economists said it will take three to four years to close the output gap, while more than a quarter say it will take five to six years."

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Illinois Tool Works Sales Down 25%

Illinois Tool Works Inc., Glenview, IL, reported operating revenue fell 25% for the three months ended April 30, 2009. The manufacturer saw a 23% decline in base revenues.
 
Acquisitions contributed 6% to revenues in the three-month period.
 
On a segment basis, the Company's three month moving average percentage change for operating revenues, comprised of base revenues, acquisitions/divestitures and currency translation, is provided below. (% change for 3 months ended April 30, 2009, versus prior-year period)

Industrial Packaging: -35.3%
Power Systems and Electronics: -35.1%
Transportation: -24%
Food Equipment: -16.2%
Construction Products: -35.2%
Polymers and Fluids: -6.7%
All Other: -16.5%
 
With $15.9 billion ...