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USG Corp. partners with GE Lighting

BY Brae Canlen

Two of the building industry’s largest manufacturers are collaborating on a new ceiling system designed for use in commercial applications. USG Corp. will offer its Logix Integrated Ceiling System with GE Lumination’s LED Linear Recessed Luminaires. The system is ideal for office, retail, healthcare and hospitality environments, the two companies said.

“The collaboration between USG and GE addresses the need of the architectural and design community for more monolithic, high-performance ceiling design options,” said Chris Griffin, USG executive VP operations. “We’re proud to offer a ceiling system that can be designed with greater flexibility in the configurations, performance specifications, and aesthetic and size options of panels and grid, while also incorporating lighting and mechanical systems for a more customized and monolithic ceiling.”

GE’s Lumination LED Linear fixtures will offer significantly better lighting performance over fluorescents, requiring less energy and lasting for years without the need for replacement, according to the announcement. 

“The breakthrough of our integrated ceiling and lighting system offers uninterrupted channels of lighting and acoustical panels for a desired design aesthetic without compromising performance,” said Jaime Irick, general manager, GE Lighting North America Professional Solutions.

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Jewett-Cameron delists from Toronto Stock Exchange

BY HBSDealer Staff

Jewett-Cameron Trading Company has voluntarily delisted its common shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), effective at the close of business on Oct. 11. The company said it no longer wants to maintain dual listings, due to the costs and the minimal volume of trading on the TSX.

Jewett-Cameron continues to trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “JCTCF.”

Jewett-Cameron is a holding company that, through its subsidiaries, operates out of facilities located in North Plains, Ore. Jewett-Cameron Lumber Corp.’s business consists of the manufacturing and distribution of specialty metal products and wholesale distribution of wood products to home centers and other retailers located primarily in the United States.

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Housing market boosts consumer spending index

BY Brae Canlen

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose to 3.53 in September, from a reading of 3.27 the previous month, based largely on the strength of the housing market. The index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, attributed its growth primarily to the nearly 11% increase in home prices, which offset weakness in other areas. Besides home prices, the index is also based on tax burden, initial unemployment claims and real wages.

"The sizable increase in home prices may overstate the strength of the real estate market, though on a positive note, the declines may be over and the market stabilizing," said Carl Steidtmann, Deloitte’s chief economist and author of the monthly index. "The increase may also provide a much-needed boost to consumer confidence as other hurdles lie ahead. Consumer spending growth has slowed, and the primary reason that it is flat but not declining is that households are putting less into their savings. Energy prices remain a drag on household incomes, and rising prices account for the largest month-to-month drop in real wages since September 2005."

Highlights of the index include:

Tax burden: The tax burden rose slightly in the most recent month to 11.05%. A rising tax burden is often a sign of healthy income growth.

Initial unemployment claims: Jobless claims moved higher this month to 371,000 and were 2% higher than this time last year.

Real wages: Rising energy prices sent real wages tumbling to $8.71 — the largest month-to-month drop since September 2005.

Real home prices: In a thin market, housing prices can be volatile as the mix of homes sold becomes more significant. Real home prices soared 10.5% in the latest month, accounting for all of the gain in the index.

Deloitte’s retail and distribution practice provides audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to 80% of the Fortune 500 retailers, according to the company.

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