Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
September 19, 2006








Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Franke Foodservice Systems
ICC/IAPMO Talks To Combine Codes Fail
EU's CEN Publishes Equipment Safety Standards
Competing Smoking Bans Battle On Arizona Ballot
Taiwan Bans Plastic Disposables In Schools; Restaurants Next

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Fire Destroys Equipment Dealer HQ, But Biz Survives
McLaughlin Named President At Thermo-Kool
NRA Honors Humanitarian Operators
Sign Up Early For IH/M&RS For Big Discount
Panera Bread Expands in Arizona



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In This Section:
Consumer Sentiment Rises In September
CPI Barely Rises, Wages Dip In August

This issue's Regulatory ReportSponsor: Franke Foodservice Systems
Industry Report
Sponsor: Server Products
Economic Report Electrolux Professional

Consumer Sentiment Rises In September
It was good news for foodservice—and a lot of other industries—when the University of Michigan announced Friday that its preliminary monthly Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 84.4 in September, up significantly from 82.0 in August. The rise was higher than many Wall Street economists had expected.

The Current Conditions component of the reading didn't do so well, dropping to 95.7 from last month's 103.8, but Expectations (for conditions six months from now) rose more than nine points, to 77.1, driving the overall Index improvement.

Survey results indicated consumers appear less worried about any sudden rise in inflation than they did a month ago. We'd suspect that softening gas prices and a slowing housing market figure into consumers' relief.

Experts note that consumer sentiment in recent years has been only a wobbly indicator of consumer spending. Still, an upturn remains better news than a downturn.

 

Section sponsored by Electrolux Professional

CPI Barely Rises, Wages Dip In August
A couple of big reports last week mitigate against fears of inflation. The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index for the month of August rose just 0.2% before seasonal adjustment, half its July increase. The "core" ncrease, which excludes the volatility of food and energy prices, also rose 0.2%--exactly the same as in July.

Energy prices appeared to reach a plateau, rising just 0.3% after July increases nearly ten times that. Natural gas led the August increases, such as they were, with a 0.7% seasonally adjusted jump. Electricity actually declined 0.1%. Gasoline blipped up 0.2%.

Among other categories: Food was up 0.4%; housing, a big component, rose just 0.2%.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that real average weekly earnings, seasonally adjusted, dropped 0.5% in August compared to July. The calculation incorporates a slight rise in hourly wages, a slightly larger decline in weekly hours, and inflation. The August decline follows a 0.1% decline in July.

Year-to-year, inflation- and seasonally-adjusted, real average weekly earnings were up just 0.3%.



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