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ASA Home   Membership   Education   Advocacy   Networking   Benchmarking Dec. 15, 2011

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New ASA Address and Contact Information
American Supply Association    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As indicated in the Dec. 1 issue of ASA Insights, the headquarters of the American Supply Association, the ASA Education Foundation, the Midwest Distributors Association (MwDA) and the Wholesalers Association of the Northeast (WANE) will move from their office location in downtown Chicago's Merchandise Mart to the western Chicago suburb of Itasca, Ill., next week.

Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 21, the new official address will be:

1200 N. Arlington Heights Road, Suite 150
Itasca, IL 60143

Also, for your records, the new headquarters telephone number will be 630-467-0000 and the new fax number will be 630-467-0001.
Thank you for your patience during our office moving process. We look forward to serving you from our new location in the new year and beyond!

Government Shutdown Preparations Begin as Funding Talks Stall
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration is alerting employees to the possibility of a partial government shutdown if talks on bills to fund the government and extend the payroll tax cut collapse later this week. With Congress facing a midnight Friday deadline to either pass a short-term or final measure to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, Cabinet secretaries and agency heads planned to send an e-mail message to workers by close of business Wednesday informing them that a shutdown could occur, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the plans. More

Gold, Silver Plummet as Dollar Rallies on EU Woes
Seeking Alpha    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The euro fell to a yearly low Wednesday as Italian interest rates at auction hit new highs. Collateral damage to the EU crisis is showing up not only in stock prices, but in the precious metals markets as well. The euro fell below the psychologically important 1.30 level in European trade and is testing support from last January. If it breaks that support (and it is pretty certain that it will), the 125 level is the next stop and 1.20 after that. The euro can be tracked through the ETF FXE. At the same time the euro is breaking down, the trade-weighted dollar has broken out. More

Being Industrious in the Age of Uncertainty    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Call it the age of uncertainty — this post-Great Recession environment when a weak recovery and any number of troubling signs globally cast shadows on relatively strong recent profit results. The future for industrial companies is a somewhat confusing blend. On the plus side, industrial revenues (unadjusted for inflation) in the first nine months of 2011 topped levels last seen in the peak year of 2008, and earnings in this period were up 25 percent compared to January through September 2010. Average net profit margins at industrial firms are relatively robust again: about 6 percent now, a 6 percent improvement over last year. Emerging economies drove most of this growth, as real GDP gains in developed nations slowed to a meager 1.5 percent in 2011. More

Copper Near Three-Week Low; EU Debt Crisis in Focus
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Copper fell near a three-week low on Wednesday as Europe's debt crisis remained unresolved, denting demand prospects, and after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to do nothing new to prop up growth. Risk aversion also pushed up the U.S. dollar, generally perceived as a safe-haven asset, which put additional pressure on industrial metals prices. Benchmark copper fell more than 5 percent to $7,176 a tonne, its weakest since Nov. 25. It later closed at $7,210 versus a close at $7,600 a tonne on Tuesday. More

Manufacturing Jobs Readily Available With No Skilled Workers to Fill Positions
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Anyone who tells you the jobs just aren't out there has not spoken with the employers at Excel Foundry and machine in Pekin, Ill. That company is trying to expand but is having difficulty. Excel says the reason for this is because recruiters cannot fill the job vacancies. Yes, you read that right, they can not fill the vacancies. "We're absolutely frustrated, we're doing everything we can to attract employees we desperately need right now," says Doug Parsons with Excel. The catch is that Excel, like many U.S. manufacturers, is looking to hire skilled workers. That means tradesmen with training like welders, pipe fitters and machinists. That is where the problem lies. More

Study Finds Suppliers, Customers Disagree About Risk
@Risk    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most companies have tightened up their internal due diligence procedures over the past few years, but many remain unclear about how to test and evaluate the due diligence of potential suppliers. That's a big concern because, as research from the international legal practice Norton Rose Group shows, suppliers and their customers can often have very different perceptions of risk. For example, the Norton Rose Group's new survey found that customers rate reputational damage as a primary risk, but suppliers rank it only a secondary risk. On the other hand, suppliers see service performance failure as a primary risk, while their customers view it as a secondary risk. More

Unemployment Drops in Regions with Growing Manufacturing
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
High unemployment still plagues much of the country, but regions such as Ohio and Michigan are actually seeing impressive job gains as manufacturing activity picks up, especially in the auto industry. Those gains may be reversed in upcoming months, though, as high inventories and decreasing demand for transportation equipment slow factory activity. More

ASA Insights
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