MANUFACTURING: Activity not 'bad,' but slowdown apparent

Times Board of Economists - Report from Roy Berlin, president, Berlin Metals
2012-10-21T00:00:00Z 2013-12-18T16:23:27Z MANUFACTURING: Activity not 'bad,' but slowdown apparentBy Bowdeya Tweh, (219) 933-3316

After a solid seven months of the year, Roy Berlin said product volumes shipped from his steel service center have been down in recent months.

Berlin, whose business supplies products to customers including the automotive and telecommunications sectors, said the reduction appears to be a hiccup in the industry because September and October are typically good months for business.

"We're shipping a little less these last couple months than we have earlier in the year," Berlin said. "... It's not doing badly, it's just that it's not as good as we did last year at the same time."

With many European countries in recession and China projecting a lower rate of growth this year, the industries that consume steel aren't able to accept as much product and the steel produced has to find a home in the global market, Berlin said. Manufacturers, especially those in the steel industry, are going to have to cope with depressed prices as a result of a product glut and apparent flagging demand.

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