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Euramax International acquires Cleveland Tubing

BY HBSDealer Staff

Cleveland, Tenn.-based Cleveland Tubing, the makers of the FLEX-Drain system, will become part of the Amerimax portfolio of products.

Norcross, Ga.-based Amerimax is a division of Euramax International.

In a letter to customers from A. Kent Owens, Euramax senior VP of residential products, the acquisition was described as boost to the company’s comprehensive portfolio of products. “Cleveland Tubing’s award-wining FLEX-Drain underground product line fits seamlessly and complements Amerimax’s roof drainage product offering,” he wrote.

Owens also pointed to benefits in the form of technical expertise that will enhance Amerimax’s Flex-a-Spout, Flex Elbow and Extend-a-Spout. 

 

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Unemployment rate declines to 8.1%

BY HBSDealer Staff

The national unemployment rate fell from 8.3% to 8.1%, according to data released this morning by the Labor Department.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 96,000 in August, less than the 127,000 or so expected by analysts.

Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.

Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and government, showed little change over the month.

A year ago, the national unemployment rate stood at 9.1%.

 

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HIRI forecast sees growth in the mid-single digits

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Home Improvement Research Institute’s (HIRI’s) September 2012 forecast for the size and trends in the home improvement market points to growth of 4.9% in 2012 and 4.0% in 2013. 

Based on the macroeconomic factors that are known to drive the industry, home improvement sales should outpace GDP growth and bring the market size to $284.8 billion in 2013. 

“Consumers are starting to get back closer to normal in their maintenance, repair and improvement of their homes,” says Fred Miller, Managing Director of HIRI. “Some of the newest data on housing should help maintain the positive momentum the industry started experiencing last year.” 

The growth in purchases by contractors is expected to lag somewhat behind consumer purchases this year (3.9% vs. 5.3%). With improving housing turnover, the outlook for 2013 is the reverse with contractor sales expected to grow 4.4% vs. 3.9% for consumer sales. 

As employment growth accelerates and housing markets improve in 2014, expectations are for stronger growth of home improvement sales averaging 5.9% in 2014-2015 with a slight deceleration in the following two years as the housing market cycle runs its course. 

This new forecast has some revisions to history driven by new data released by the Census Bureau. Based on this new information, retail sales of Building Material Dealers had slower growth in 2010 and 2011. After incorporation of this new data, total home improvement product sales now show no growth in 2010 and a 3.1% increase in 2011 (down from growth rates of 2.3% and 3.8% previously estimated for these two years.) 

These forecasts are developed twice a year for HIRI by IHS Global Insight. Included are a range of key macroeconomic factors that drive the market forecast. The full report includes details on consumer product sales by 21 merchandise product lines and individual forecasts for each of the 9 Census Divisions. History is included back to 1992 and estimates are provided out to 2017.

HIRI is offering a by invitation webinar to go over the latest forecast on September 12. Those who are qualified to join HIRI may apply for an invitation at http://www.hiri.org/event/Sept12. Jim Gillula of IHS Global Insight will be the featured speaker. 

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