Powermate files for bankruptcy
Aurora, Ill.-based Powermate has filed for bankruptcy protection in the district of Delaware and will be closing its Kearney, Neb., plant.
The plant manufactures portable generators, air compressors and pressure washers and employs approximately 200 employees and has been in operation since 1986.
Officials at the company, which has been doing business as Coleman Powermate for many years, were not available for comment.
The following message greeted callers to the company’s 800 number: “You have reached us during normal business hours. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we do not have a rep available to answer the telephone.”
John Krebs, president of the Buffalo County Economic Development Council told a local newspaper in Karney: “The Chapter 11 filing by the board of directors of Powermate … and the pending closure of the Powermate plant here in Kearney is indeed sad news.”
I am Zarin. Product manager
I am Zarin. Product manager at Best Air Compressor Store
Construction outlook positive for health care, public safety
A newly released report by FMI, a consulting and investment banking firm to the building and construction industry, predicts that worsening economic conditions may forestall the housing recovery until 2009, with this year’s residential building activity declining 10 percent for single-family housing, 7 percent for multi-family and 2 percent for remodeling.
The Construction Outlook report also saw decreases in the commercial, office, religious, amusement and leisure segments, all of which are tied into the economy. But certain publicly funded non-residential sectors — health care, educational, public safety and Homeland Security — will fare better, according to FMI. Health care construction will benefit from facility upgrades across the country; educational institutions will fund new projects with endowments or voter-approved bonds in several states; new police and fire stations, as well as prisons, are in the construction pipeline; Homeland Security improvements to U.S. ports and border areas are underway; and airport delays will necessitate expansion projects.
The full report, available at www.fminet.com, also addresses manufacturing-related construction, which FMI believes will remain flat in 2008 and 2009 based on “several multi-billion dollar projects under construction at the same time.” Increases in cement capacity, refineries and steel manufacturing will contribute to these gains, the research said.
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Builder confidence unchanged says NAHB
Builder confidence in single-family homes remained unchanged for March. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the NAHB/Wells Fargo housing market index remained at 20, close to its historic low of 18 set in December 2007.
The HMI is derived from a monthly survey to gauge builders’ perceptions of the single-family housing market in the coming six months as good, fair or poor. It also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as either high to very high, average or low to very low. A score over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.
“Our surveys confirm what I’ve been hearing personally from builders across the country, which is that interested buyers are out there, but they are either reluctant to go ahead with a home purchase or they are unable to find mortgage financing they can afford,” said NAHB president Sandy Dunn, a home builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va.
Regionally, the Northeast posted a two-point decline to 21, the Midwest held even at 16, the South reported a two-point gain to 26 and the West showed a one-point decline to 15.
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