ASA Insights
Aug. 9, 2012

Go 'Back to the Future' for One Hour on Aug. 23
American Supply Association
For 30 years, ASA's annual Operating Performance Report has served as the PHCP and PVF industry's basis for benchmarking individual company performance against typical and high-profit performers among selected industry segments and demographics. A free, one-hour webinar with Tom Noon, principal at Industry Insights, is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 23, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern/10:30 a.m. Pacific.More

Supply Houses Essential to the Economy
American Supply Association
When ASA President Scott Weaver traveled to Washington for the association's Legislative Fly-In in May, he knew visits with his elected officials would be unique. The member of Congress who represented APR Supply's headquarters for two decades had been defeated in a primary just days earlier. Coincidentally, not only was his representative defeated, but Weaver's congressional district was also redrawn. This meant that regardless of the outcome of the election, in 2013 his company would have a different representative in Washington. More
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Industry CFOs to Discuss Credit, Banking Relationships in Chicago Next Month
American Supply Association
Seasoned banking executive Ted Kopczynski of Citibank N.A. will provide ASA member CFOs insight into negotiating lines of credit, ins and outs of private equity capital, and strategies for building banking relationships at ASA's upcoming CFO Networking Council meeting, Friday, Sept. 21, at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile. Please click here or contact Margaret Bean at 630-467-0000, ext. 211, for more meeting details.More

LAST CALL: Monday Webinar on Hazard Communication Standard
American Supply Association
ASA's Safety Committee encourages member compliance and safety officers to take advantage of a webinar being held next week by a fellow OSHA Alliance Partner, the Society for Chemical Hazard Communications. The webinar, titled Hazard Communication 2012 - The Revised Standard and What Changes You Can Expect in the Workplace, will be held Monday, Aug. 13, from 1-2:30 p.m. EDT. This webinar will review the major changes to Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It also will cover changes including updated training, labeling and safety data sheet requirements.More

'Harvesting Connections' Event to Take Place Sept. 19-21
Western Suppliers Association

This year Western Suppliers Association is celebrating 60 years in the business of promoting goodwill and the best interests among all of its members and their respective companies. Please join WSA in Napa, Calif., to "Harvest the Connections" around you.
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US Productivity Rises in Second Quarter, 2011 Revised Upward
Reuters
Nonfarm productivity rose more than expected in the second quarter as companies expanded output but only modestly increased the hours worked by their employees, data from the Labor Department showed. Productivity climbed at a faster-than-expected 1.6% annual rate between April and June. The still-modest reading could be a sign that companies will have to step up hiring to keep up with production, said Jeremy Lawson, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York.More

Construction Spending Reaches Highest Level Since December 2009
Construction & Demolition Recycling
Construction spending in June rose to a 2-and-a-half year high as double-digit percentage increases in private residential and nonresidential construction more than offset an ongoing downturn in public construction, according to an analysis of new federal data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America, Washington. Association officials said they expect the disparity between private and public construction is likely to persist and urged policy makers to put more funding into infrastructure projects.More

Iron Ore-Bids Scarce; China Steel Demand Outlook Stays Weak
Reuters
Buying interest for iron ore cargoes from top consumer China remained thin Tuesday as uncertainty over when steel demand will pick up depressed appetite for the raw material. Benchmark iron ore prices, which hit their lowest in 31 months last week, could fall further amid ample spot supplies as miners continue to offer material, hoping some Chinese mills will return to the market to replenish inventories.More

Copper Jumps to One-Week High on Hopes of EU Action
Reuters
Copper rose to a one-week high Tuesday as the dollar fell and expectations grew that Europe will take the necessary steps to resolve its debt crisis and shore up economies there. A broad range of financial markets, including metals, crude oil, and equities, all had a strong run after the European Central Bank promised last week to buy bonds to ease pressure on Spain and Italy, albeit under strict conditions that are yet to be spelled out. Prospects of further bond purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve added to Tuesday's optimistic tone.More

Factories in US Show Resilience as Production Rises
Bloomberg
Industrial production increased in June, paced by gains among auto and machinery makers that may ease concern some of the drivers of the U.S. economic expansion were floundering. Output at factories, mines and utilities rose 0.4% last month after a revised 0.2% drop in May that was larger than previously reported, according to Federal Reserve data. Other figures showed consumer prices were unchanged and homebuilder confidence jumped.More

ISM: US Manufacturing Activity Declines in June
The New York Times
Manufacturing activity in the United States declined in June, making it the first monthly contraction since 2009, partly because of a slowdown in orders from Asia and Europe, according to a national survey. The Institute for Supply Management said its index registered 49.7 in June, the first time since July 2009 that it had fallen below 50, the level that separates a manufacturing expansion from a manufacturing contraction.More