The 2014 Made-in-the-USA Report
Three little words can have huge emotional power. Case in point: “Made in America.”
When one objectively surveys the Made-in-USA landscape, one sees American manufacturers eager to promote their products as “Made in USA” for the clear emotional pull of those words. On the other end, one sees American consumers predisposed to support the idea of Made in America, because, after all, it’s their country.
But in the middle, where the rubber meets the road, is the retailer. Hence, HCN commissioned Tampa, Fla.- based Market Research Solutions to study how store managers — the very people with a front row seat of actual shopper behavior — measure the power of Made in USA.
Housing starts push 13.2% higher in April
Feeling the effects of pent-up demand, the nation’s housing starts broke the million mark for the first time in 2014.
According to data released this morning, U.S. housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,072,000, up 13.2% from March’s revised estimate of 947,000 and 26.4% above April 2013’s rate.
Total starts came in at the highest level since November 2013, and well above economists’ prediction of about 980,000, according to multiple estimates.
Building permits also performed at an impressive clip, hitting their highest level in nearly six years. Specifically, permits jumped 8.0% to a 1.08 million unit rate, a level not seen since June 2008.
Single-family housing starts held steady at 649,000, which was only 0.8% above March’s revised figure of 644,000. Instead, multi-family homes surged 39.6%.
Home Depot schools the nation in hurricane know-how
The Home Depot is helping the nation prepare for the warmer months with a series of hurricane workshops being held across the nation on Saturday, May 31, the first day of hurricane season.
"As we prepare for the first day of hurricane season, The Home Depot is committed to providing our customers the essential know-how to protect their homes and their families if a storm strikes," said U.S. Stores president Craig Menear. "Our hope is for these workshops to bring communities together, provide important preparedness information and inspire residents to take action."
The second annual Hurricane Preparedness Workshops will be held in 700 locations ranging from the Gulf Coast to New England, featuring the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and The Ready Campaign.
The workshops will cover various topics such as storm preparation, generator safety, sizing generators according to need and creating disaster preparedness kits.
Attendees can catch the event on May 31 from 10 a.m. to noon local time, free of charge. For more information, visit Home Depot’s workshop page.