ASA Insights
Sept. 23, 2010

ASA Members Continue Growth Trend in August
American Supply Association
For the fourth consecutive month, ASA members have reported growth, showing a 2.3 percent improvement in per-workday revenues during the month of August 2010 as compared to the same month in 2009. However, year-to-date the plumbing, heating and pipe, valve and fitting distributors are still behind last year by 1.4 percent and behind by 17.3 percent as compared to 2008. With one additional workday in August 2010 than in 2009, the raw monthly revenues for the industry members were up 7.2 percent for the month versus 2009 and down 13.2 percent as compared to two years ago. For a full report containing statistical evaluation by regions of the country, market segments and distributor size, companies should contact Chris Murin at or 312-464-0090, ext. 204.More

Manufacturing is Growing Faster than the Economy
Material Handling Management
The pace of recovery in the general economy has slowed, but the deceleration is less visible in the manufacturing sector, according to a quarterly report from the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. By supplying major assumptions for the economy and running simulations through the IHS Global Insight Macroeconomic Model, the Alliance generates unique macroeconomic and industry forecasts. "Despite less consumer spending growth in the second quarter, there was nevertheless some employment growth and modest wage increases," says Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI and author of the analysis.More

National Wholesalers Engage with ASA
American Supply Association
In recent years, some companies felt the need to reassess their memberships in the face of economic struggles. Losing several large, national wholesalers affected ASA and inspired the association to broaden the range and depth of its programming in areas that provide tangible, bottom-line value for the membership dollar. Now, ASA is pleased to welcome back into the association Ferguson Enterprises Inc. Adding the influence of FEI to the existing collaborative efforts of current national members WinWholesale and Hajoca, ASA can make greater strides in implementing a positive and profitable long-range vision for the industry.More

DEADLINE FRIDAY, SEPT. 24 — NetworkASA 2010 Hotel Reservations
American Supply Association
If you're coming to NetworkASA 2010: THRIVE and have yet to make your hotel reservations at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile (headquarters for NetworkASA), you need to act now. The hotel quickly is selling out, and if you miss out... well, make sure you pack your sleeping bag and enjoy one of Chicago's many parks! Reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline is THIS FRIDAY Sept. 24. Reservations can be made online or by calling 800-228-9290; please reference ASA to receive the discounted rate.More

Industry Group: Manufacturing Growth Will Continue To Outpace Overall Economy
While the pace of recovery in the general economy clearly has slowed, the deceleration is less visible in the manufacturing sector, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "Despite less consumer spending growth in the second quarter, there was nevertheless some employment growth and modest wage increases. Also, the prolonged downturn and sluggish recovery have created pent-up demand for some durable goods, including sales of motor vehicles and appliances," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the MAPI.More

Robert J. Bowman: Who's to Blame for Transportation-Funding Gridlock?
And now, at last, we're talking about money. Not enough by any measure — $50 billion won't cover the cost of fixing the nation's highway and rail infrastructure by a long shot. Still, to borrow the punchline of that old joke about 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean, it's a good start. The taboo topic of increased government spending was raised by President Barack Obama in a speech in Milwaukee early this month. The president sketched out a six-year plan for fixing or constructing 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail and 150 miles of runway. He acknowledged that the $50 billion is just a "up-front" investment that is part of a long-term program.More

ASA Safety Committee Hosts Successful Webinar on Reducing Hand Injuries
American Supply Association
This fourth safety webinar sponsored by the ASA Safety Committee and the Alliance with OSHA was a success with more than a hundred people participating. The topic, "Reducing Hand Injuries and Managing PPE Cost While Maintaining OSHA Compliance," was presented by Brian Perry of Ansell Glove. If you missed the live webinar, you can watch a replay on ASA's website along with the first three webinars covering Dock Safety, Ergonomic & Back Safety and OSHA Hazard Awareness. The ASA Safety Resources section is also home to an archive of articles and toolbox talks written by the committee on various safety topics. Be sure to watch the site for information on an upcoming webinar about cutting tools and hand safety.More