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ASA Home   Membership   Education   Advocacy   Networking   Benchmarking Nov. 3, 2011

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Materials Market Digest Released for November
American Supply Association    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Now available is the ASA Materials Market Digest for November 2011 as compiled and edited by Jim Olstzynski, former editor of the industry publication Supply House Times. Each month, this report provides timely information about important trends in a variety of different materials sectors where pricing or price-influencing action has occurred. Click here to learn more about this valuable member benefit, or log in to MY ASA to review the full report.

NCWA Members Learn How to Start a Company Training Program
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
  Amy Black of the ASA Education Foundation shares
  how to start a company training program with NCWA
On Oct. 27, the ASA Education Foundation was invited to take part in the North Central Wholesalers Association fall company tour and seminar, hosted by Lute Supply in Portsmouth, Ohio. After exploring Lute Supply's new distribution headquarters facility and a sharing of best practices, Amy Black of the ASA Education Foundation was able to share the all-important steps of how to start a company training program. Specifically, she covered how ASA University can help support member companies throughout the entire training process. Participants received a step-by-step preview of the new ASA University College model, and had a chance to view examples of the interactive and engaging courses that are now available. Participants also experienced how the new ASAU Online Learning Management System can help to manage training programs.

CFOs & Midwest Distributors Prepare to Meet in Chicago
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As indicated in last week's ASA Insights, the 2011 Midwest Distributors Association Annual Meeting & Dinner will be held Monday, Nov. 14, at Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse in downtown Chicago. On the program for the event is Paul Kasriel, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist for Northern Trust. Kasriel will share his perspective on how businesses and industries, particularly those involved in manufacturing and construction, might look into the future and navigate barriers to access capital and get it moving through the economy once again. Please click here for further event details and registration information. The following day, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, ASA will be conducting a meeting of its CFO Networking Council at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Chicago. CFOs are invited to join their peers in specific discussions involving the annual budgeting process, financial metrics and in case studies involving fraud and embezzlement. Please click here for more information.

ASA Opposes OSHA Employer Notification Rollback Proposal
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This summer, the Occupational, Safety, and Health Administration proposed changes to the allowable time when an employer was to notify the agency in the event of an employee's hospitalization. Currently, the law stipulates that an employer has 24 hours to notify OSHA of a hospitalization. The proposed changes would require notification within eight hours. More

Fed Lowers GDP Forecast, Mulls More Action
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Federal Reserve slashed its forecast for growth, raised projections for unemployment and said it was mulling the possibility of buying more mortgage debt to spur a struggling recovery. While members of the central bank's policy-setting panel voted 9-1 to hold a steady course, one official urged more stimulative action now and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Europe's debt crisis posed big economic risks. At a news conference after a two-day meeting, Bernanke said buying more mortgage-backed securities was an option to help the economy and added that the U.S. central bank still was looking for ways to give clearer guidance on its policy path. More

China Manufacturing Gains Steam
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China's manufacturing sector returned to expansion in October, according to a bank report. HSBC's purchasers' manufacturing index, or PMI, for China rose to 51.1 this month from 49.9 in September, marking a five-month high. Any figure above 50 indicates expansion. "Thanks to the pick-up in new orders and output, PMI rebounded back into expansionary territory during October, marking a steady start to manufacturing activities in [the fourth quarter]," said Hongbin Qu, chief economist for China and co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC, in a statement. More

European Manufacturing, Services Shrink Most Since 2009
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
European services and manufacturing output contracted at the fastest pace in more than two years in October, adding to recession signs as government leaders try to stamp out the sovereign-debt crisis. A euro-area composite index based on a survey of purchasing managers in both industries fell to 47.2 from 49.1 in September, London-based Markit Economics said in an initial estimate. That's the lowest since July 2009 and below the 48.8 forecast by economists, according to the median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. More

Hope For American Manufacturing — And Maybe Jobs
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
America's manufacturing industry is in terminal decline, right? Smokestack America has been battered for decades by low-cost foreign competitors. Steel furnaces went cold, assembly lines shut down, and factory production moved overseas — especially to China, the world's epicenter for mass production. A common refrain on the political stump and the nation's op-ed pages is that "America doesn't make things anymore." To paraphrase Mark Twain, the demise of U.S. manufacturing has been greatly exaggerated. More

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