NAM report predicts economic growth
WASHINGTON - The manufacturing sector remains stalled, but an increase in capital spending, improved credit conditions and other factors suggest stronger economic growth in the second half of the year, according to a May 29 report from the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Washington-based trade group predicts the economy will grow 3.9 percent in the second half of the year, compared with an estimated 1.7 percent in the first half.
NAM President Jerry Jasinowski said improved credit conditions, a falling dollar and rising exports are the chief factors pointing to higher growth. He also said the tax package passed by Congress will have a stronger effect on business than some analysts predict because it will encourage business investment and consumer consumption.
NAM said an informal survey of its members showed 43 percent of them are reporting increased orders for June, a turnaround from April, when 56 percent of them said they expected orders to drop.
But Jasinowski said the economy continues to send mixed signals, such as rising unemployment and falling manufacturing production figures. Outside of spending on high-tech equipment, there hasn't been significant growth in investment spending, he said.
Natural gas prices will remain a drag on the economy, he said, and imports from China remain a significant issue for manufacturers.
DuPont extending offer to buy shares
WILMINGTON, DEL. - DuPont Co. has extended its offer to own all the shares of its DuPont Canada Inc. subsidiary.
Only 23 percent of the minority shares were tendered by the previous offer deadline of May 23. Wilmington-based DuPont will continue to offer shareholders C$21 (US$15.50) per common share in cash. The new deadline for accepting the offer is June 9.
DuPont already owns 76 percent of the Canadian subsidiary and would pay a total of C$1.4 billion (US$949.2 million) to get the rest. The new offer stipulates that DuPont get 50.1 percent of the minority shares. The offer originally sought 90 percent of the minority shares.
Investment firms holding big blocks of the minority shares have said they consider the share-price offer too low.
DuPont plans to transfer its ownership in DuPont Canada to its DuPont Textiles & Interiors business, which it plans to spin off by the end of the year. The transfer would make DuPont Textiles the major shareholder of DuPont Canada.
DuPont Canada of Mississauga, Ontario, operates several plastics businesses. Its Enhance Packaging Technologies Inc. and Liqui-Box Corp. subsidiaries offer a range of liquid-packaging systems and related films, bottles and filling equipment. It manufactures nylon engineering resins, specialty compounds, coatings used by plastic auto parts molders and nonwoven membranes used in housing construction. It also manufactures and resells a variety of nylon fibers, specialty chemicals and polymers made by its parent firm and affiliates.
L&L expands with 3 Milacron presses
CALGARY, ALBERTA - L&L Tool and Injection Ltd. has added three Milacron machines to its custom injection molding facility in Calgary.
The presses, with 110, 220 and 330 tons of clamping force, cost the firm C$800,000 (US$574,960) and were added between late last year and early this year, according to the company.
Jason Lynde, senior manager of the plastics division, said the company needs the equipment to provide faster service.
``It's just that as our company grows, we've felt that we can't support our customers as to what we thought are acceptable lead times,'' he said. ``We've seen a big reduction in start-up times and reject rates,'' he said.
Before the machines were added to the 17,000-square-foot plant that employs 20-25, L&L lead times were at six to eight weeks. Now, he said, lead times are 10 days.
L&L's one facility in Calgary sees annual sales of about C$3 million (US$2.1 million).
Jerrico Tool buys Battenfeld machines
ALDEN, N.Y. - Jerrico Tool Inc. has added three Battenfeld presses to its plant in Alden. The cost of adding the 25-, 80- and 145-ton machines was not disclosed.
President Jerry Peirick said the firm added the machines because it received ``a couple'' of additional orders from customers. Jerrico Tool now operates six presses with clamping forces of 25-200 tons.
According to a news release, the company also added two workers, bringing total employment to 10 at the 8,500-square-foot facility. Jerrico has a range of injection molding processes including prototype, short-run and production molding.