ASA Insights
Jan. 5, 2012

ASA Members Focus of January Supply House Times Feature
American Supply Association
Beginning in the January 2012 issue of Supply House Times, the official publication of the American Supply Association, six prominent ASA wholesaler members will be featured in a two-part, in-depth look at the PHCP distribution industry. ASA and Supply House Times partnered to facilitate the panel during NetworkASA 2011 in Las Vegas in order to bring the industry valuable and relevant information to better prepare for the coming year. Participants were David Finkel (Davis & Warshow, Maspeth, N.Y.), Reggie Hickman (Brock-McVey, Lexington, Ky.), Patrick Hughes (Jabo Supply, Huntington, W.Va.), Joe Poehling (First Supply, Madison, Wis.), Rick Schwartz (WinWholesale, Dayton, Ohio) and John Strong (Economy Plumbing Supply, Indianapolis). The topics discussed ranged from company operations to the economy to health care reform. Visit http://www.supplyht.com later this month to view the first article of the two-part series.More

ASA Applauds Pair of Year-End Legislative Victories for Small Businesses
American Supply Association
As 2011 closed, many issues remained unresolved, yet there were a few achievements worth noting. While one is an example of good government that ASA fought for, the other could be a potential windfall for industry jobs and lower energy costs in the Midwest. Unfortunately, however, a final outcome remains undetermined.More

ASA-Sponsored Warehouse Training Approaching — Register Today!
American Supply Association
Essentials of Profitable Warehouse Operations©, an ASA-sponsored training course offered through the Association Education Alliance, will take place in Los Angeles on Jan. 24, San Diego on Jan. 25, San Francisco on Feb. 7 and Phoenix on Feb. 9. The course is geared toward warehouse employees, especially those on the supervisor track, and features instructor Jason Bader, managing partner of The Distribution Team Inc. Bader brings more than 20 years of experience in managing small and large distribution facilities, and emphasizes practical experience through all of his teaching. Participant registration deadlines are 10 days prior to each class, so please click here to register for any of these dates today. For full program details, including a complete schedule of cities and dates through June 2012, please click here.More

Building Optimism: American Manufacturing Re-Emerges in New Form
TriplePundit.com
American manufacturing once conjured images of sweaty workers in cavernous factories churning out steel beams and station wagons. By the middle of the 20th century, a deep sense of optimism and the possibility of a solidly middle-class life for workers accompanied these images. Today, manufacturing brings to mind offshore sweatshops and abandoned U.S. factories, and this trend shows no immediate signs of ending. However, there is reason to believe that American manufacturing is alive and growing, albeit in a new form.More

Copper Jumps as Output Data Boosts Demand Outlook
Bloomberg via Bloomberg Businessweek
Copper jumped to a three-week high in London on speculation increased manufacturing output from China to the U.S. may boost demand for industrial metals.More

Inventory Restocking to Propel US Manufacturing
Bloomberg via Bloomberg Businessweek
The need to rebuild depleted inventories may supersede spending on business equipment as the catalyst propelling gains in U.S. manufacturing in early 2012. Orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a measure of future corporate investment, dropped 1.2 percent in November, the biggest decline in 10 months, according to Commerce Department data Wednesday. A report Tuesday showed a gauge of stockpiles at factories customers slumped in December to a seven-month low.More

Gold Back Above $1,600 Mark as Dollar Slides
RTTNews.com via NASDAQ
Gold futures rallied to close above the $1,600 mark Tuesday, on a weaker dollar and higher oil prices. Gold for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $33.70 or 2.2 percent to $1,600.50 an ounce, on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The precious metal closed Friday having gained 10 percent for the year, after six straight sessions of decline late December. The dollar index which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, dropped to 79.553 from last week. The euro rose to $1.3070 from $1.3072 prior to the Fed minutes release and $1.2931 in late Monday trade in North America.More