ASA Insights
Sep. 27, 2012

Economy Slows for ASA Members
American Supply Association
After 28 consecutive months of growth, ASA members are reporting the economy is pulling back as per day sales in August declined for the first time since April 2010. ASA had a 1.6% decrease in August 2012 per day revenues as compared to the same month in 2011; up 11.8% as compared to 2010; up 36.2% as compared to 2009; and up a whopping 42.3% as compared to 2008. The plumbing, heating and pipe, valve and fitting distributors are up 7.3% YTD and 8.1% on a rolling 12-month basis.More

Industry Leaders Form 'Get the Lead Out' Consortium
American Supply Association
A consortium of plumbing manufacturers and industry trade associations met in Chicago on Aug. 30, 2012. The purpose of this unique meeting was to develop strategies to alert and prepare industry constituents for upcoming changes in the allowable level of lead in plumbing products. The federal "Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act" was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Jan. 4, 2011. The bill becomes effective Jan. 4, 2014.More

NetworkASA 2012 Speaker Meyer Featured on 'CBS Sunday Morning'
American Supply Association
This year's NetworkASA 2012 Plumbing Industry Educational Forum and Breakfast speaker and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer was featured this past week on CBS Sunday Morning. Please click the link to learn more, and click here for last-minute NetworkASA 2012 registration details. See you all in Orlando!More

Election Update: Early Voting Begins This Week!
American Supply Association/Bloomberg
For the majority of our adult lives, Election Day always occurred on the "Tuesday after the first Monday in November." That is no longer the case. America's elections, while a national affair, are actually state by state. The candidates fight over less than a dozen states that are truly in play, and many more often are conceded to the other party. Historically, a few states always are considered toss-ups, with Ohio and Florida being two prime examples. Others, such as Indiana or North Carolina, were won by the president in 2008; polling has predicted that they will go for Mitt Romney. The ad wars are the best depiction of whether the state is being disputed.More

Equity Plumbing Acquires UPA Marketing Group
The Wholesaler
Equity Plumbing recently the announced the acquisition of UPA's marketing group operations. This agreement expands the collective membership coverage to more than 500 locations nationally and increases combined sales to nearly $1.4 billion annually.More

Home Prices Rise for Sixth Month, a Sign of Recovery
Reuters
U.S. home prices rose for a sixth straight month in July in the latest sign of a sustainable housing market recovery, while a jump in consumer confidence this month offered a harbinger that Americans are ready to loosen their spending. Six years after its collapse, economists believe the housing market has turned a corner. Two separate reports Tuesday showed that home prices rose in July, though the gains were not as strong as the previous month. That follows recent data that home resales and groundbreaking on new properties rose in August, while business sentiment among homebuilders hit a more than six-year high this month.More

Construction Employment Declined in 30 States Between August 2011 and 2012
ACG of America
Construction employment declined in 30 states from August 2011 to August 2012 and in 26 states in the past month, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data. Association officials noted that construction employment declined in most states even as long term infrastructure programs and tax measures languish.More

First Half 2012 State of the Industry Building Materials Report
Brooke Chase
For Brooke Chase's First Half 2012 State of the Industry Building Materials Report, 30,876 people were surveyed over the course of a four-week period. Responders included industry product manufacturers to residential home builders. Topics included company history, current state of the company, and opinions/comments, which are inserted throughout.More

Copper Slides on Renewed European Debt Worries
Reuters
Copper fell Wednesday following gains the previous day as investors ditched metals along with other risk assets after protests in Spain and Greece renewed fears about the euro zone debt crisis and its drag on global economic growth. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 1.7% in official trading to $8,133.50 per tonne, after rising 1.1% in the previous session. The metal widely used in construction and the power sector had gained about 16 percent from early August until hitting a 4-1/2 month peak last week on the back of central bank stimulus measures.More

A Lost Decade for Savers
Bloomberg
The 1990s were a lost decade for Japan. The 2000s delivered a lost decade to U.S. investors. Now, five years into the onset of the financial crisis, with stock and bond markets booming, housing resurgent, and even Detroit redeemed, it's savers who find themselves in a lost decade. This runs counter to the lessons of the credit bubble. We were urged to spend less, save more, tell fewer lies on our mortgage applications.More

Distributors Face Many Unknowns in Wind Energy Markets
Modern Distribution Management
Scientists say there's enough kinetic energy in global winds to, when harnessed, meet or exceed global energy needs, according to a 2012 study from Stanford on wind power potential. Wind energy also is considered renewable in that the production of energy itself doesn't require the use of fossil fuels. This translates to less pollution and less dependence on foreign fuel.More