Hardware Retailing

DEC 2018

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/1056221

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Page 44 of 78

HARDWARE RETAILING | December 2018 40 Hardware Retailing (HR): How have tariffs on steel and other raw materials affected manufacturers in 2017? Anthony Nieves (AN): Many of our respondents are indicating that they're concerned about the tariffs, but there remains a lot of uncertainty about how those effects are going to move through the supply chain. It's possible those effects will increase costs on products but, at this juncture, it has not. HR: Have these steel tariffs affected consumer confidence? AN: Not at this point. All other reports outside our own indicate consumer confidence is at an all-time high and it isn't significantly impacting the confidence level of the respondents and their companies or industries. In fact, we're seeing a more robust scenario, where activity is increasing in anticipation of tariffs. We've also seen municipalities accelerating their purchasing, as they're under the wire before the end of the fiscal period. HR: In November, NMI stood at 61.6 percent, which was a 3.1 percent increase over the month before. What does this rising figure say about the U.S. economy? AN: On the nonmanufacturing side, we had 104 consecutive months of growth. After the recession ended, we saw slow and steady incremental industry growth. All indications from the New Orders Index, which shows upcoming purchases, predict good rates of growth for the remainder of the year. When we take the NMI, it indicates a 4.6 percent increase on real gross domestic product. Looking Forward to 2019's Economy A Q&A With Anthony Nieves Anticipating the economic ripples new and proposed tariffs would have was a major concern for manufacturers and retailers alike in 2018. To give more information on the subject and other economic matters that could affect retailers, Hardware Retailing spoke with Anthony Nieves, a certified professional in supply management. He serves as the chairman of the Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee for Institute for Supply Management ® , which measures the Purchasing Managers' Index ® (PMI) as well as the Non-Manufacturing Index ® (NMI). Economic Outlook

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