The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

News Digest 5007

MDM's top news briefs from News briefs from March 26 - April 10, 2020.

Distributor

Winsupply Inc. has closed on the purchase of assets of May Supply, a wholesale and retail distributor of plumbing and water system materials, and kitchen and bath design and fixtures, serving customers throughout west central Virginia from two locations. More.

Hillenbrand, Inc., a global diversified industrial company that makes and sells premium business-to-business products and services for a wide variety of industries, has completed the previously announced sale of its Cimcool business to DuBois Chemicals, Inc. All conditions were met, including the employee consultations required by Dutch law, allowing for the transaction to be completed in a single closing and resulting in cash proceeds to Hillenbrand of approximately $224 million. More.

HD Supply Holdings, Inc., one of the largest industrial distributors in North America, has announced that materially changing market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the company’s previously announced timeline to separate its Facilities Maintenance and Construction & Industrial businesses. More.

Electrical, communications and data networking products distributor Graybar, St. Louis, Missouri, reported $7.5 billion in sales for 2019, a 4.5% increase compared to the previous year. Net income was $144.5 million, a 0.8% increase compared to 2018.  More.

Industrial distributor MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc., Melville, New York, reported sales for its fiscal second quarter ended February 29 of $786.1 million, a decrease of 4.5% from the prior-year period. Profit for the quarter was $55.5 million, down 18.9% from the same quarter a year ago. Sales for the first six months were $1.6 billion, down 2.7% compared to the prior-year period. Profit was $120.9 million, down 15.3%. More.

Lighting distributor Acuity Brands Inc., Atlanta, reported sales for the second quarter of $824.2 million, a 3.5% decrease compared to the same period a year earlier. Profit fell 13.7% to $57.2 million. For the first six months, sales were $1.7 billion, a decrease of 7.2% compared to the prior-year period. Profit fell 21.7% to $114.2 million. More.

BlueLinx Holdings Inc., Atlanta, announced in the company’s recent 8-K filing with the SEC that president and CEO Mitchell Lewis would voluntarily cut his salary for a six-month period from his annual base salary of $850,000.  More.

Wholesale electrical product and solution supplier Border States Electric has welcomed a new CEO, David White, and president, Jason Seger. The change comes after CEO Tammy Miller retired from her role on March 31. More.

Sales for HARDI distributor members decreased by 0.1% during February, according to its monthly TRENDS report. The average annualized sales growth for the 12 months through February 2020 is 4%.  More.

Economic

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to +0.16 in February from –0.33 in January. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from January, and three of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in February. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, decreased to –0.21 in February from –0.11 in January. More.

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the third estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1%. More.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in March, and the overall economy grew for the 131st consecutive month, say the nations supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. More.

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it. Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places. Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. In March, manufacturing employment was down -18,000. Over the past 12 months, employment in the industry has shown little net change.  More.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has announced that the goods and services deficit was $39.9 billion in February, down $5.5 billion from $45.5 billion in January, revised. February exports were $207.5 billion, $0.8 billion less than January exports. February imports were $247.5 billion, $6.3 billion less than January imports. More.

Construction spending during February 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,366.7 billion, 1.3% below the revised January estimate of $1,384.5 billion. The February figure is 6% above the February 2019 estimate of $1,289 billion. During the first two months of this year, construction spending amounted to $193.5 billion, 8.2% above the $178.8 billion for the same period in 2019, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  More.

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