Consumer confidence climbs in January
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had dipped in December, increased in January. The Index now stands at 60.6 (1985=100), up from 53.3 in December. The Present Situation Index improved to 31.0 from 24.9. The Expectations Index increased to 80.3 from 72.3 last month.
“Consumers have begun the year in better spirits. As a result, the Index is now near levels not seen since last spring," when the May 2010 Index was 62.7, said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a prepared statement. "Consumers rated business and labor market conditions more favorably and expressed greater confidence that the economy will continue to expand and generate more jobs in the months ahead. Income expectations are also more positive. Although pessimists still outnumber optimists, the gap has narrowed.”
The Consumer Confidence Survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The monthly survey is conducted for The Conference Board by TNS.
Jerry’s Home Improvement converts to ESOP
Jerry’s Home Improvement, a DIY warehouse based in Eugene, Ore., has become a federal Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) company, according to an article in the Register Guard.
The 50-year-old company, which was family owned, won’t make any changes in its management or board of directors, the newspaper said. But Jerry’s will now become a trust that holds company stock for the benefit of employees. As such, it is a non-taxed entity.
The conversion took place Dec. 29 but was not made public until Jan. 20. Jerry’s, which includes a drive-though lumberyard and kitchen showroom as part of its 140,000-sq.-ft. operation, also has a store in Springfield, Ore.
Wolf to distribute Deckorators
York, Pa.-based Wolf, major supplier of kitchen cabinets, announced it will distribute Deckorators’ full line of railing systems, balusters, post covers and caps to dealers within Wolf’s 18-state East Coast footprint.
The move takes effect March 1.
Deckorators is a brand of low-maintenance rail systems, aluminum and glass balusters, rail posts and caps, and lighting kits. Deckorators rail systems are code approved (CCRR – 0161) and guaranteed by a lifetime warranty against chips, checks, cracks and peels.
The addition of Deckorators is part of Wolf’s broad strategic shift, the company said, combining leading brand names with its own lines of private-label products.