2005 SALES FORECAST +8.9% WEST SOUTH CENTRAL

Everything really does seem to be bigger in Texas when you look at the size of the Lone Star state's housing market. Through August of this year, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Fort Worth-Arlington — three of the largest markets for new homes in the country — had logged over 70,000 housing permits. The Austin housing market is up a whopping 81 percent through August 2004, with more than 12,000 total housing starts. That's more than the total number of housing starts in many smaller states. On the flip-side, the office market in Houston and Dallas continued to be a Texas-sized disappointment, with well over 20 percent of offices vacant. The oil patch is doing well. Louisiana's rig count was up to 167 in July, compared to 158 a year ago, and the Texas rig count hit 532 for this month, up 60 rigs since November 2003. Louisiana is also looking forward to the construction of a $100 million tank railcar manufacturing facility that will create 700 manufacturing jobs by 2006.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final Final Final Final Forecast Forecast
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
West South Central 8,474.2 8,588.1 8,627.8 9,360.1 10,620.6 11,563.9
Arkansas 425.8 431.6 433.6 470.4 533.7 581.1
Louisiana 1,197.1 1,213.2 1,218.8 1,322.3 1,500.4 1,633.6
Oklahoma 598.4 606.5 609.3 661.0 750.0 816.6
Texas 6,252.7 6,336.8 6,366.1 6,906.4 7,836.5 8,532.5
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual in thousands
EC M C G
West South Central 95,156 1,387.5 7,544.6 2,397.1
Arkansas 4,466 204.0 566.4 187.9
Fayetteville-Springdale MSA 735 29.8 88.6 21.9
Fort Smith MSA 345 25.7 45.5 11.0
Little Rock-North Little Rock MSA 2,190 24.2 173.2 63.5
Pine Bluff MSA 86 7.3 17.0 8.8
Louisiana 15,227 154.7 1,021.3 369.6
Alexandria MSA 1,478 3.0 31.5 13.4
Baton Rouge MSA NA 20.4 163.0 57.5
Houma-Thibodaux MSA 315 7.3 38.5 13.8
Lafayette MSA NA 10.4 95.2 23.9
Lake Charles MSA 392 8.8 47.3 13.1
Monroe MSA 534 7.4 43.0 12.8
New Orleans MSA NA 41.1 358.7 104.5
Shreveport MSA 912 15.0 95.8 32.4
Oklahoma 9,578 141.5 795.4 278.1
Enid MSA 124 2.1 13.1 3.5
Lawton MSA 155 3.3 20.8 10.3
Oklahoma City MSA 3,117 38.1 317.3 100.0
Tulsa MSA 3,074 46.1 219.0 41.6
Texas 65,885 887.3 5,161.5 1,561.5
Abilene MSA 407 2.8 36.9 8.7
Amarillo MSA 358 8.5 58.3 16.1
Austin MSA 5,690 57.2 353.4 142.4
Beaumont-Port Arthur MSA 1,405 19.8 82.4 25.5
Brazoria PMSA 609 12.5 34.8 15.3
Brownsville-Harlingen MSA 496 8.2 68.3 25.0
Bryan-College Station MSA 537 5.0 35.7 28.8
Corpus Christi MSA 1,352 11.6 89.3 29.0
Dallas PMSA 15,458 199.5 1,097.0 234.1
El Paso MSA 776 24.7 132.9 59.6
Fort Worth-Arlington PMSA 4,712 95.6 420.4 106.6
Galveston-Texas City PMSA 695 7.1 47.4 24.8
Houston PMSA NA 185.4 1,157.4 287.4
Killeen-Temple MSA 420 7.4 55.5 28.6
Laredo MSA 259 1.1 39.7 18.4
Longview-Marshall MSA NA 14.9 49.9 12.2
Lubbock MSA 824 5.5 69.5 26.0
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA 692 9.4 102.0 41.7
Odessa MSA 988 5.7 54.1 16.3
San Angelo MSA 478 3.9 25.2 8.2
San Antonio MSA 4,640 44.1 445.7 130.7
Sherman-Denison MSA 548 6.5 25.4 5.9
Texarkana MSA 333 5.6 29.6 10.9
Tyler MSA 340 9.3 53.6 11.9
Victoria MSA 173 2.5 20.2 6.4
Waco MSA 481 14.1 55.2 16.9
Wichita Falls MSA NA 7.1 31.4 12.3