2005 SALES FORECAST +8.9% NEW ENGLAND

New Englanders will be celebrating the victory of their beloved Boston Red Sox in the World Series well into 2005, but the electrical industry has more reasons to cheer next year because New England's economy is expected to post solid gains. Employment numbers look promising for 2005, and the region's manufacturers expect capital expenditures to increase moderately. New England's economy took longer to rebound from the recession because of its ties to the high-tech market. Approximately 21 percent of all jobs in the Boston area are in computers, biotech, electronics and other high-tech industries. Office vacancy rates in downtown Boston have stabilized at approximately 14 percent, but open space in the burbs contributes to a 20-percent vacancy rate for the region. Building permits in the region were up 12 percent year-to-date at press-time, but some economists believe dramatic increases in home prices in Massachusetts point toward a housing bubble.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final Final Final Final Forecast Forecast
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
New England 4,575.8 4,250.1 4,375.9 4,655.6 5,291.8 5,761.8
Connecticut 1,768.3 1,642.4 1,691.0 1,799.1 2,045.0 2,226.6
Maine 168.3 156.3 160.9 171.2 194.6 211.9
Massachusetts 2,102.6 1,953.0 2,010.8 2,139.3 2,431.6 2,647.6
New Hampshire 260.7 242.1 249.3 265.2 301.5 328.3
Rhode Island 139.5 129.5 133.4 141.9 161.3 175.6
Vermont 136.5 126.7 130.5 138.8 157.8 171.8
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual in thousands
EC M C G
New England 42,516 754.7 4,251.5 884.3
Connecticut 8,755 195.2 992.6 228.5
Bridgeport-Milford PMSA NA 28.2 109.9 20.7
Danbury PMSA NA 11.8 54.0 11.1
Hartford MSA 3,084 69.1 346.9 89.9
New Haven-Meriden PMSA 3,532 30.6 152.1 29.4
New London-Norwich MSA 235 19.2 74.1 41.4
Stamford PMSA NA 9.7 144.6 16.6
Waterbury PMSA NA 13.1 47.8 12.1
Maine 2,810 61.8 383.5 91.3
Lewiston-Auburn MSA 341 6.2 29.9 4.5
Portland MSA 1,221 11.1 105.5 18.5
Massachusetts 23,024 323.9 2,014.3 378.9
Barnstable-Yarmouth MSA 482 1.7 54.8 9.0
Boston PMSA 22,325 159.7 1,271.8 210.5
Brockton PMSA NA 9.6 57.2 16.5
Fitchburg-Leominster PMSA NA 10.1 28.3 7.5
Lawrence-Haverhill PMSA NA 27.1 86.7 18.5
Lowell PMSA NA 21.2 59.2 14.4
New Bedford PMSA NA 11.4 35.4 9.1
Pittsfield MSA 372 6.0 28.5 4.4
Springfield MSA 1,089 28.3 153.0 43.6
Worcester PMSA NA 28.7 139.9 31.7
New Hampshire 3,249 78.2 382.6 80.6
Manchester PMSA NA 10.9 67.4 11.1
Nashua PMSA NA 21.2 52.8 8.8
Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester PMSA NA 12.3 78.0 21.3
Rhode Island 2,935 58.1 306.4 62.1
Providence MSA 2,635 71.1 330.3 63.2
Vermont 1,743 37.5 172.1 42.9
Barre-Montpelier NA 3.0 19.2 7.8
Burlington MSA NA 15.6 61.7 15.9

NA — Not available

MSA — Metropolitan Statistical Area

PMSA — Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

CMSA — Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area

EC — Electrical contractor employees for April 2004. Electrical Wholesaling estimates these numbers based on Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau's County Business Patterns.

M — Manufacturing employees for August 2004. Source: Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

C — Commercial account employees (professional and business services, retail trade, financial activities, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services) for August 2004.

Source: Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

G — Government employees for August 2004. Source: Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics