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FYI

Briefly..... Summer’s the perfect time to make lemonade.

Briefly.....

Summer’s the perfect time to make lemonade. With high gas prices keeping more folks at home for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, now’s the time to make economic lemonade promoting the features of the grills you have to sell.

Labor Day no longer marks the end of grilling season, either. In fact, nearly three-fifths of grill owners surveyed by the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Assn. said they use their grills year-round. New York-based Easy Analytic Software, Inc. projects a 15.6% increase in grill sales over the next five years. It may seem counterintuitive, but the economic doldrums we’re in could boost that increase by encouraging people to have fun grilling at home.

Unemployment
Seasonally adjusted annual rate

National 2008
June 5.5%
May 5.5%


Consumer credit outstanding
Percent change at annual rate
Seasonally adjusted

2007 2008
Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1r Mar.r Apr.r Mayp
r = revised; p = preliminary
Total 5.6% 8.2% 3.9% 5.0% 5.9% 3.6% 3.6%
Revolving 6.8 8.6 8.2 6.8 7.4 -0.5 7.1
Nonrevolving 4.9 7.9 1.3 3.9 5.1 6.1 1.6


Covers most short- and intermediate-term credit extended to individuals, excluding loans secured by real estate.

Nonrevolving credit includes automobile loans and all other loans not included in revolving credit, such as loans for mobile homes, education, boats, trailers or vacations. These loans may be secured or unsecured.

Source: Federal Reserve

Housing
Unit numbers in thousands
Seasonally adjusted annual rate

Permits United States Northeast Midwest South West
May ’08 numbers are preliminary
Source: Bureau of the Census and National Assn. of Realtors
May ’08 969 141 145 456 227
Change from May ’07 -36.3% -4.7% -37.0% -41.2% -38.5%
Starts
May ’08 975 147 123 479 226
Change from May ’07 -32.1% -10.9% -50.0% -31.5% -30.7%
New home sales
May ’08 512 35 82 281 114
Change from May ’07 -40.3% -57.8% -42.3% -35.0% -43.0%
Existing home sales
May ’08 4,990 910 1,160 1,910 1,020
Change from May ’07 -15.9% -15.0% -16.5% -17.0% -12.8%


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