After a string of declines, AHMA index improves in May
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index improved in May to 175 from 166.7 in April (October 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index declined to 179.3 from 231 a month earlier.
Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA), said: “After four consecutive months of declines, it is encouraging to see the AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s current situation index improve in May. As we move into the summer retail selling season, it is our hope that consumers feel confident enough in their overall economic situation to resume spending, thereby moving product through the entire channel and creating an opportunity for future sales.”
In comparing current sales levels with year-ago levels, 42% of respondents said sales were higher in May versus year-ago levels, up from 40% in April. For May, 21% reported sales were even, and 38% said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 42% of May respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 57% in April. In May, 50% of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 8% expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 62% of respondents project sales will be higher, down from 77% who felt that way in April. Thirty-three percent of May respondents project sales will be even one year from now, and 4% project sales will be below current levels.
Leviton promotes marketing executive
Peter Kleinman has been promoted to the position of director of marketing for Leviton’s distribution channel.
In his new post, he will be reporting to William W. Marshall, Leviton’s senior VP sales and marketing. Kleinman will lead the marketing, branding and advertising for the company’s full line of products across the distribution sales channel.
In a career spanning over 20 years with Leviton, Kleinman has held a series of positions in both marketing and communications. Kleinman was instrumental in Leviton’s 2007 rebranding campaign and helped successfully facilitate the transition on an enterprise level.
Before joining Leviton, he was a creative management member at Esquire Magazine, an award-winning creative director and editor of The National Lampoon, and VP marketing at Sekani Inc., where he built and ultimately sold a company that provided content via the Web efficiently for Fortune 500 companies. “Peter’s background, creativity and experience will help us take our industry-leading marketing to a new level of technological excellence and effectiveness” Marshall said. “We are excited to have him in this strategic role.”
Unemployment rate hits 9.1% in May
The nation’s unemployment rate in May increased to 9.1%, up from 9.0% in April, according to government data released Friday.
The number of unemployed persons remained essentially unchanged at about 13.9 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in its latest employment situation summary. Construction employment was essentially unchanged in May. Employment in the industry has shown little movement on net since early 2010, after having fallen sharply during the 2007-to-2009 period.
In May 2010, the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 9.7%.