Increase in container imports tied to housing recovery
A 5% rise in containerized import volume last November can be credited to the turnaround in home sales, according to a report in the Journal of Commerce/PIERS. The year-over-year increase to 1.48 million 20-foot equivalent units included a 7% gain in shipments of furniture, a top import commodity.
Pending home sales continued to gain in November and reached the highest level in 19 months, according to the National Association of Realtors.
"A healthy housing market is key to the revival of U.S. containerized imports growth, as many of the goods consumers purchase to furnish a home are imported," said Mario Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS. He pointed to additional expansion in November of imported cooking and heat appliances, lamps and parts, and kitchenware. Growth in these other commodities contributed to the increase in imports from China — up 4.1% in November 2011 in year-over-year comparisons — the country’s first rise in eight months.
"The question is, ‘Are we seeing a self-sustained recovery in home sales?’ " Moreno said. "This will depend very much on how many jobs the economy can generate every month. Over the last 12 months through November, the economy generated an average of 132,000 jobs per month. We are not there yet, but getting closer."
With all these home sales, it
With all these home sales, it can be safe to assume that related industries will also see a slight rise in their business at least, such as the furniture industry. So hopefully this is a sustainable phenomenon that will not just come and go. Alex - cavalok cavity closers
With all these home sales, it
With all these home sales, it can be safe to assume that related industries will also see a slight rise in their business at least. So hopefully this is a sustainable phenomenon that will not just come and go.
GAF’s Royal Sovereign Shingles turn 50
GAF’s Royal Sovereign Shingles are celebrating a 50th anniversary.
First introduced as “Sovereign” in December of 1961, the shingle that has now evolved into GAF’s popular Royal Sovereign is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Initially launched as an organic shingle, Sovereign became one of the first glass mat shingles in 1972, and is one of the longest-running asphalt shingle brands on the market, according to the Wayne, N.J.-based GAF.
GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has sold enough squares of Sovereign and Royal Sovereign Shingles over the past 50 years to circle the earth more than 200 times, the company said.
AHMA Confidence Index declines
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association’s AHMA Home Improvement Industry Confidence Index’s Current Situation Index declined in December to 229.2 from 266.7 in November (December 2008 = 100), while the Future Expectations Index also fell to 241.1 from 262.1.
“As we look forward to 2012, we are encouraged by some recent reports showing that the prolonged downturn in the economy may finally be poised for improvement," said Timothy S. Farrell, president and CEO of the AHMA. "We remain concerned, however, that while potential for progress exists, no definitive and sustainable growth can occur while unemployment rates remain at high levels and the housing market continues to struggle.”
In comparing current sales levels to year-ago levels, 55 percent of respondents said sales were higher in December versus year-ago levels, down from 64 percent in November. For December, 25 percent reported sales were even, and 20 percent said sales were below year-ago levels.
Looking forward six months, 60 percent of December respondents said they expect sales to be above current levels, down from 76 percent in November. In December, 30 percent of respondents said they expect sales to be even in six months and 10 percent expect sales to be below current levels.
Looking forward one year, 80 percent of respondents project sales will be higher, up from 76 percent who felt that way in November. Fifteen percent of December respondents project sales will be even one year from now and five percent project sales will be below current levels.
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