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August Consumer Confidence Index rises marginally

BY Ken Clark

Consumer confidence continues to plod along in the mid-forties.

Data released Tuesday morning by the New York City-based Conference Board showed the Consumer Confidence Index for the month of September at 45.4, up slightly from an upwardly revised 45.2 reading in August. 

A year ago, the index was at 48.6. It rose to above 70 in February of this year, but has since slipped back into the forties for two consecutive months.

“The pessimism that shrouded consumers last month has spilled over into September. Consumer expectations, which had plummeted in August, posted a marginal gain," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "However, consumers expressed greater concern about their expected earnings, a sign that does not bode well for spending. In addition, consumers’ assessment of current conditions declined for the fifth consecutive month, a sign that the economic environment remains weak.”

Consumers’ short-term outlook, which had deteriorated sharply last month, improved slightly in September. Those expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased to 11.3% from 11.8%, while those expecting business conditions to worsen declined to 22.6% from 24.6%.

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Study: Demand for countertops is growing

BY HBSDealer Staff

A report from Freedonia Group estimates demand for countertops in the United States will reach 760 million sq. ft. in 2015 — valued at $24.6 billion.

After falling 2.4% from 2005 to 2010, countertop demand will increase 4.8% from 2010 to 2015, according to the Cleveland-based research firm.

"The countertop industry was hit hard over the last few years as it actually contracted in light of macroeconomic recessionary conditions and a drastic downturn in the housing market," according to the the report, called "Countertops." "A recovery in new housing construction will drive countertop demand, while in the larger remodeling market lower unemployment and greater credit availability will provide incentive for consumers to reinvest in their homes, including countertop installation as part of a kitchen or bathroom remodel."

Residential market will continue to dominate countertop demand, and laminate countertops will continue to lead the market, the Cleveland-based research company predicts.

 

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r.sanders says:
May-10-2012 10:55 pm

I am glad to hear that the
I am glad to hear that the market is reviving, I now dare to think even further and allow myself to become more optimistic about my new remodeling project. I hope I'll be able to find a wide variety for countertop colors, I am not willing to compromise.

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A green guide for public housing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Siemens Industry, in collaboration with the Green Seal organization, has published a guide for public housing owners and operators to help them reduce the use of energy, water and toxic chemicals. Called "Green Building Operations and Maintenance Manual: A Guide for Public Housing Authorities," the publication is now available free online by clicking here

A selection of public housing authorities funded the manual through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Green Seal and Siemens collaborated to develop the manual and customize it for regions of the United States with geographically specific guidelines and information.

The manual covers a broad range of facility maintenance and management best practices, including HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, lighting, landscaping and recycling. Unit maintenance is addressed, as well as a section providing suggestions and tools on ways building owners and operators can engage residents and encourage them to participate in improving the sustainability of the communities in which they live.

"For the first time, public housing authorities and building owners have access to a peer-developed source that provides practical, actionable guidance in an easy-to-use format that transcends the ‘how’ and reveals ‘why’ these recommended actions are important for the longevity of the housing developments they manage,” said Mike Kearney, senior director for the building technologies division of Siemens Industry. 

"The Green Building Operations and Maintenance Manual is unique in that no other green operations resource focuses on multi-unit housing or provides such comprehensive, detailed guidance for free,” said Arthur Weissman, president and CEO of Green Seal. “The guidance is more than academic; these are practices facilities managers can start implementing today to take a significant step toward a sustainable society.”

 

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