Consumer Confidence bounces slightly in August
The Consumer Confidence Index increased slightly to 53.5 in August, up from 51.0 in July, but down from 54.1 in August 2009.
The Conference Board’s index (1985=100) increased with the short-term outlook, according to director Lynn Franco. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions, however, was less favorable as employment concerns continue to weigh heavily on consumers’ attitudes. Expectations about future business and labor market conditions have brightened somewhat, but overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future. All in all, consumers are about as confident today as they were a year ago.”
The Present Situation Index decreased to 24.9 from 26.4. The Expectations Index increased to 72.5 from 67.5 last month.
Consumers were also less pessimistic about future job prospects. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead increased to 14.6% from 14.2%, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased to 19.4% from 20.9%. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes held steady at 10.6%.
KB appoints new treasurer
Los Angeles-based KB Home has announced the appointment of Thad Johnson to the position of treasurer.
Johnson will report directly to Jeff Kaminski, EVP and CFO, and will be responsible for the care and custody of the company’s financial assets, as well as maintaining and developing its banking operations and relationships.
Previously, Johnson served as the company assistant treasurer for two and a half years.
“We are pleased to promote a talented individual such as Thad into the treasurer role,” Kaminski said. “As a proven performer on our team, we believe Thad will provide continuity and bring a sound perspective to the treasury function. I look forward to working with Thad as we continue to execute on our growth strategy.”
Prior to KB, Johnson served as assistant VP with U.S. Bancorp’s commercial real estate group. He also has more than 10 years of management consulting experience with several East Coast-based firms.
Picketers linger at two ProBuild sites
Picketers continue at two Chicagoland locations of ProBuild Holdings, the nation’s largest pro dealer, which has been trying to negotiate a new contract with Teamsters Local 673 since April. A one-day mediation session held on Aug. 24 was unsuccessful after both sides failed to reach any agreements. Teamsters spokesman Roger Kohler said the union was initially hopeful “because [ProBuild] sent someone out from Denver for the first time.”
Top of the list, according to both ProBuild and the Local 673, are healthcare benefits. The union claims many of its warehouse and delivery drivers will not be able to afford health insurance due to higher premiums and a cutback in hours. Bill Myrick, ProBuild’s newly appointed CEO, told Home Channel News that the company is trying to standardize its best practices across its many locations, and one of these is healthcare plans. “We want to treat all of our employees equally,” Myrick explained.
“We look very much forward to resolving this issue,” he added.
Meanwhile, union employees continue to march along the road in front of ProBuild stores in Yorkville and Wheaton, Ill.