Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
September 23, 2008








Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Enodis
Richmond, Va., Puts Squeeze On Water Use
More Towns Legislate Their Way Out Of FOG
L.A. Jumps On Calorie-Counting Bandwagon
And San Jose Borrows Page From L.A. In Obesity War
Toronto Considers Ban on Bags, Cups, Containers

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Component Hardware Group Acquires Flame Gard
FSTC Named Partner In NRA Enviro Project
Still Time To Join Host '09
CFESA Elects New Officers, Directors
NAFEM Show To Debut 'What's Hot! What's Cool!'



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In This Section:
Sign Up Now For FER'S 2009 E&S Market-Forecast Webinar
Blue Chip Economists Lower Growth Forecasts Again
Food, Gasoline Buck Trend Of Decelerating Price Increases
Consumer Sentiment, Expectations Show Unexpected Rise

This issue's Regulatory ReportSponsor: Enodis
Industry ReportSponsor: Server Products
Economic Report Manitowoc Foodservice Group

By Robin Ashton

Sign Up Now For FER'S 2009 E&S Market-Forecast Webinar

If you'd rather light a candle than curse the darkness, here's something for you: Foodservice Equipment Reports Publisher Robin Ashton and forecasting partner John Muldowney, principal at Clarity Marketing, Tipp City, Ohio, will present the magazine's exclusive forecast of the equipment and supplies market through an online Webinar scheduled Oct. 28. In addition to a 90-min. overview of the forecast, participants will receive the entire six-deck PowerPoint forecast. Included are detailed data, forecasts and analysis of general economic, operator and materials-pricing trends, and the magazine's hard-number forecasts of nine separate E&S product categories. If you sign up, you also receive an overview of growth by the Top 150 E&S manufacturers from Muldowney, and data on E&S price increases from AutoQuotes Inc.

The updated forecasts will include revisions based on more recent data as well as recalculations of market estimates using new benchmark data from the just-released NAFEM Size & Shape of the Industry market numbers. Participants will receive all materials via e-mail. Past attendees of the magazine's forecast seminars or other meetings qualify for a discount. Attendees of the President's Preview meeting July 30 can attend for free. Cost of the Webinar is $399, or $349 if you sign up before Oct. 1.

In the meantime, if you really need the forecast now, you can get it for $449, and you can come to the Webinar for free.

To order the forecast, or for information on registering for the forecast Webinar, e-mail Robin Ashton at rashton@fermag.com or call the magazine's office at 800/986-9616.

 

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Blue Chip Economists Lower Growth Forecasts Again
The more than 50 economic forecasting groups polled monthly by Blue Chip Economic Indicators aren't getting any more optimistic.

True, the consensus forecast for real growth of gross domestic product for 2008 in the United States actually rose in the survey conducted in early September to 1.8%. But the upward revision was entirely due to stronger-than-forecast 3.3% growth in the second quarter. And the consensus forecast for annualized quarterly growth in the third and fourth quarters fell another tenth-point each, to 1% and 0.2% respectively. The economists did hold their forecast for GDP growth in '09 at 1.5%. Earlier, the forecast had fallen every month since January.

Forecasts for the key consumer-spending numbers—disposable personal income and personal-consumption expenditures—also fell again. DPI is now expected to grow only 1.5% this year, PCE a mere 1%. Both forecasts are 0.2 point lower than they were last month. DPI is expected to grow only 1.3% next year and PCE 0.9%.

The global look isn't cheery. Most GDP forecasts for other major economies, other than China, were down sharply this month. The forecast for the Eurozone fell to 1.4% for '08 and 1.1% next year. That for the U.K was down to 1.3% and 0.9%. The consensus for Japan fell to 1.1% this year and 1.0% next. Forecasts also fell for South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.


 Section sponsored by
Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Food, Gasoline Buck Trend Of Decelerating Price Increases
The good news is the Federal Producer Price Index for finished goods fell a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in August and the outlook for food prices appears to be improving. The bad news is that the measure for finished foods continued to rise, up 0.3% for the month. This follows a similar increase in July and a 1.5% jump in June.

The measure for intermediate food prices fell 0.2%, and that for crude foodstuffs was off 5.2%. This would seem to portend continued moderation of finished-foods increases.

Much of the decline in the PPI came from lower energy costs. The energy component of finished goods fell 4.6%, including declines in natural gas prices.

But the numbers for energy may not look quite so good in September. As Hurricane Ike closed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts, gasoline prices spiked in some parts of the country. On the national average, gasoline prices jumped a whopping 18.7 cents in the week ended Sept. 15. But Ike's impact on price increases varied significantly from region to region. Gas prices soared 34 cents in the Southeast and 31 cents in the Midwest. On the other hand, they rose only four cents in New England and continued to fall in California and much of the West.

Diesel prices continued to fall, but again, the Midwest and Southeast saw increases.

While most observers expect gasoline and diesel prices to continue falling once the hurricane's impact is mitigated, the price of both key fuels remains more than a dollar per gallon above this time last year.


 Section sponsored by
Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Consumer Sentiment, Expectations Show Unexpected Rise
Timing is everything, and optimism is a good thing. That said, consumers in early September were feeling better than in recent months.

The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment and Expectations Indices' both jumped in the September preliminary readings, released Sept. 12. The Sentiment Index was up more than 10 points to 73.1, while the Expectations Index soared 13 points to 70.9. Both measures had reached near record lows in June.

Whether the financial reports that surfaced later in the month will have any impact remains to be seen.



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