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Commodity Price Declines Will Continue Through the Winter

The construction materials price index dropped 7.8% from September to December and is expected to decline, albeit more slowly, through the winter as worldwide commodity demand continues to shrink. Commodity prices fell in January again for metals, lumber and some energy based products because construction activity and manufacturing production are now declining in most major countries and commodity inventories are well above normal levels.

Source: Reed Construction Data

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Business Groups That Sought Tax Cuts Now Back Centrist-Brokered Stimulus

Business groups that had been pushing for additional tax cuts in the stimulus bill are now urging lawmakers to support a package negotiated by Senate centrists from both parties.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce are both supporting the Senate bill, and NAM may make the Senate’s vote on the bill a “key vote.” That means lawmakers would be scored on their votes.

Source: The Hill

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Gregg Withdraws as Commerce Secretary Nominee

"I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle."

Source: Sen. Judd Gregg

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Manufacturers Included in Economic Advisory Panel

A group of seven senior executives from small manufacturing companies attended the first meeting of the president's new Economic Recovery Advisory Board on Feb. 6, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.

The 16-member panel chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker includes manufacturing CEOs Jim Owens of Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt.

Source: Industry Week

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Rockwell Survey Shows Strong Support for Stimulus for Manufacturers

An overwhelming majority (79%) of Americans believes that U.S. manufacturers should receive federal stimulus incentives to invest in automating and modernizing their factories to improve environmental sustainability, competitive position and product quality, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,001 adults across the nation was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. on behalf of Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc.

Source: Biz TImes

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