U.S. exporters report gains
The Worldwide DIY Council, a trade group of U.S. and Canadian manufacturers who also export to other countries, has released a member survey showing sales growth of 20 percent or more in almost every product category this year. Sales to Mexico, Central and South America posted the most gains, and Eastern Europe, especially Poland, were also noteworthy, the survey reported.
Looking ahead to 2009, council members predicted sales increases of 10 percent to 20 percent in most merchandise categories. They listed Latin America, Eastern Europe, and southeast Asia, particularly India, China and Russia, as promising markets for U.S. and Canadian made goods.
Anumber of the council members will be exhibiting together at the upcoming 2008 Expo Nacional Ferretera in Guadalajara, Mexico. The American Hardware Manufacturers Association (AHMA) will sponsor the USA Pavilion at the event, which is scheduled Sept. 12 to 14.
Carpet One Floor & Home names vp-merchandising
Carpet One Floor & Home, a division of CCA Global Partners, has named Jim Aaron vp-merchandising.
Aaron most recently served as a senior training specialist with CCA Global Partners. Prior to that, he served as a territory manager with carpet company Mohawk, helping the flooring maker to launch into hard surfaces.
“Aaron’s extensive hard surface experience and history with CCA make him perfect for the role,” said Eric Demaree, president of Carpet One Floor & Home.
Aaron previously worked with William M. Bird & Co. after attending the University of South Carolina and graduating in 1988. He will be based in the company’s St. Louis office.
Carpet One Floor & Home currently has more than 1,000 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Silver linings seen in housing statistics
Prices of single-family homes across the United States are still falling, but the declines are slowing down, according to one of the leading housing market indictors. Numbers released by Standard & Poor’s showed a 15.4 percent decline in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the same quarter of 2007. The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, also reported annual declines of 17 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively, for its 10-city and 20-city composite price index.
These declines were less than economists had forecast, however. Quarterly figures for nationwide home prices showed a 2.3 percent drop in the three months through June from the previous three months, compared with a 6.8 percent decline in the first quarter of 2008.
“While there is no national turnaround in residential real estate prices, it is possible that we are a seeing some regions struggling to come back, which has resulted in some moderation of price declines at the national level,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor’s, in a prepared statement.
Las Vegas remains the weakest real estate market in the country, according to the report, closely followed by Miami and Phoenix. For the month of June, Denver and Boston were the best performing markets; each city had three consecutive months of sales gains. Charlotte and Dallas recorded four straight months of positive returns, according to the index.