six consecutive monthly increases. Crude oil pushed down prices for raw materials. From April to May, prices charged by manufacturers, as measured by the Industrial Product Price Index (IPPI), registered a  ; 0.5 percent decline after six consecutive monthly increases. On a 12-month basis, the IPPI advanced  ; 3 percent, a slowdown from the  ; 3.8 percent increase registered in April.
U.S. construction spending during May 2007 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,176.6 billion, 0.9 percent above the revised April estimate. The May figure is 2.8 percent below the May 2006 estimate of $1,210.0 billion. During the first five months of this year, construction spending amounted to $442.1 billion, 3.9 percent below the $460.1 billion for the same period in 2006.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in June for the fifth consecutive month, while the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. In June, manufacturing expanded at its fastest pace since April 2006 when the PMI Index registered 56.9. More
NetSuite Inc., San Mateo, CA, a vendor of on-demand, integrated business management application suites that provide ERP, CRM and e-commerce functionality for small and medium-sized businesses and divisions of large businesses, has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on its intended initial public offering of common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.
Salem, OR-based Ultratape Industries Inc., a manufacturer of adhesive tapes used in cleanroom environments, has been sold to Hayward, CA-based Delphon Industries LLC. Ultratape produces pressure sensitive adhesive tapes for use in semiconductor cleanrooms, labs, pharmaceutical manufacturing and other particle-free and static-free environments.
Rexel, the Paris-based distributor of electrical supplies, has made three acquisitions in Belgium, the United Kingdom and the U.S. The moves follow Rexel’s bolt-on acquisition strategy aimed at broadening its footprint in Europe and North America. In the U.S., Rexel bought Tri-Valley Electric Supply, with sales of $5.5 million in 2006 in Arizona.
Praxair Distribution, Inc., Danbury, CT, a subsidiary of Praxair, Inc., has acquired Wilson Welding & Medical Gases, Warren, MI. Wilson is a distributor of industrial, medical, specialty gases and related equipment and supplies. The business generated sales of $20 million in 2006 and has 72 employees.
Gases distributor Airgas, Inc., Radnor, PA, has acquired Lehner & Martin, Inc, a Santa Ana, CA-based industrial gas and welding supply distributor with branches in Placentia, Gardena, and Chino, CA. L & M had sales of more than $13 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2007. The operations have been integrated into Airgas West. The transaction was the fifth acquisition since the start of Airgas’fiscal 2008 on April 1, 2007, with acquired sales now topping $378 million.
Pro-Build Holdings, Denver, CO, supplier of building materials to professional contractors, has purchased Crosslin Supply Company, a distributor of lumber, millwork and building products in the greater Nashville, TN, market. Crosslin has three facilities.
ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, WI, has purchased Ashley Aluminum LLC.  ; Ashley Aluminum’s 48 branches in the Southeast are now part of ABC Supply’s Town & Country Industries division. ABC Supply is a $3 billion distributor of roofing, siding, windows and other select exterior building products.  ;
ITT Corporation, White Plains, NY, has agreed to acquire International Motion Control, Buffalo, NY, for $395 million. IMC is a supplier of motion control products with 2006 revenues of $200 million.
Actuant Corporation, Milwaukee, WI, has acquired BH Electronics, Munford, TN, for $30 million in cash. BHE produces dashboard control panels and electronic assembly systems, primarily for the marine market. BHE generated $35 million in sales in 2006, and has 450 employees. BHE will operate within Actuant’s Electrical Segment. Actuant has annual sales of over $1.4 billion.
Carrier Corp. has agreed to buy E.B. Ward & Company/Valair, a Carrier distributor of residential, light commercial and commercial products. Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp., is a supplier with 200 locations in more than 20 U.S. states and Canada. E.B. Ward and Valair, with 140 employees and combined sales of $150 million, serve Carrier customers in Northern California and parts of Nevada.
Parker Hannifin Corporation, Cleveland, OH, supplier of motion and control technologies, has acquired Mitos Technologies, Inc.  ; Mitos manufactures fluid-handling products and systems designed specifically to meet the high purity requirements of the biotech industry, including tubing and hose, valves, pumps and molded components.  ; Mitos had revenues of $5.5 million in 2006 and employs 40 people at its headquarters in Phoenixville, PA. Parker Hannifin has annual sales of about $9 billion.
Real gross domestic product -the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in the U.S. -increased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007, according to final estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  ; In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.5 percent.
Influenced by the strength of the Canadian dollar, prices in Canada for manufactured products declined in May after