Also in this issue we explore how the current economic slowdown has taken its toll on paint makers serving the exterior decorative coatings market. With fewer new homes and buildings under construction, the number of gallons of paint sold in key mature markets has fallen. To make matters more difficult paint makers are also plagued with high raw material costs. While they have stabilized a bit of late, the increases have far outpaced manufacturers ability to pass them along to customers. Increasing energy prices and ever more stringent environmental regulations are also challenges facing suppliers to this market.
For more on the impact of the financial crisis that seems to be impacting all aspects of our lives you'll want to hear Phil Phillips' insights into this dilemma in The Business Corner. He says, "Versus the same 2007 time period, architectural paints are off 18% through June and estimated to continue to be off through August at a 20% rate and, will get worse as paint data for housing lags housing start data."
And it's not just the architectural segment that is suffereing. There have been sharp downturns in sales of automotive OEM coatings and coatings for appliances as well, according to Phillips.
And expect the situation to get worse before it gets better. Phillips says, "...we must face the facts that for the foreseeable minimum of 24 months our businesses will not operate 'as usual.'"