OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS ACTIVITY 3rd Quarter, 1995 (July, August, September 1995) Third Quarter, 1995 gross income was up 10.8 percent over Third Quarter, 1994. All major industry sectors with the exception of the two natural resources sectors posted positive growth numbers. These increases ranged from 5 percent in retail trade to 25.7 percent in the manufacturing sector. Within manufacturing, transportation equipment was up 68.7 percent, although some part of that increase was due to the timing of reported business income. If the growth in transportation equipment were factored out, the manufacturing sector would still be up over 11 percent. (The large increase (73.5 percent) in miscellaneous food products was due to a SIC classification change.) The gross income decline in the natural resource sector, agriculture, forestry and fishing is not indicative of overall income changes in those industries. The 11.8 percent decline in mining and quarrying was mainly the result of a 41.4 percent decline in reported gross income for metal mining. The service sector showed strong growth with a year-to-year increase of 9.7 percent. Business services was up 14.1 percent largely as the result of a 40.5 percent increase in advertising services. Motion picture theaters and productions continued its strong growth with a 39.7 percent increase. The very large increase in other business (963.7 percent) was due entirely to a temporary allocation of SIC designations to a batch of new business registrations. The finance, insurance and real estate sector had an overall increase of 9.7 percent on the strength of a 17.2 percent increase in financial services. Real estate was up 3.1 percent while insurance and other financial services were both down. The utilities and transportation sectors showed strong overall growth with a 20 percent increase in the communication and utilities sector and a 9.3 percent increase in transportation and allied services. The highest growth areas were other utilities (within the utilities sector) up 57.3 percent, communication (services) up 25.3 percent, and motor freight and warehousing up 17.3 percent. Both electric and gas companies reported declines in gross income. Although retail trade was up a nominal 5 percent, wholesale trade was up 7.6 percent. Within wholesale trade, durable goods was up 7.2 percent and nondurable goods 7.9 percent. Nondurable goods showed a somewhat surprising decline in groceries and related products, down 8.1 percent, but this was more than offset by a nearly $400 million increase in farm-product raw materials, the result of high grain prices and production. Durable goods was led by a 14.1 percent increase in sporting, recreational equipment and a 9.6 percent increase in electrical goods. Retail trade had many ups and downs in individual retail industries which resulted in only a 5 percent increase. Hardware stores continued with a strong increase (43.5 percent), nurseries, garden supplies was up 7.8 percent and variety stores up 17.4 percent. Other strong retailers were apparel and accessories up 17.7 percent and furniture, furnishings, etc., up 12 percent. The nominal 1.8 percent gain in eating and drinking establishments is understated due to some SIC reclassifications. The dollar volume leader in the retail trade sector, automotive dealers, was up only 3.6 percent. Overall, stronger growth than expected due to strong manufacturing and service sector growth and strong wholesale trade increases in spite of slow growth in the retail trade sector. The consumers appeared to slow their spending in third quarter, but the underlying expectation of business is that consumer spending will be stronger in fourth quarter. We’ll wait and see if the data proves this expectation correct.