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St. Louis -- Coatings manufacturing, riding the economic-expansion wave sweeping the nation, turned in strong gains in the first quarter, government statistics indicate.
The growth numbers -- to the tune of 5.4 percent in the gallons of coatings shipped in the first quarter -- confirmed perceptions that the economy and the industry are running on all cylinders.
The volume of all coatings shipments rose to 261.6 million gallons in the first quarter, topping the first quarter of the previous year and the fourth quarter of 1993 by an identical 5.4 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. The dollar value of those shipments rose even more dramatically -- by 8.2 percent over the first quarter of 1993.
The expansion was broad-based, the Census Bureau reported, with architectural coatings volume jumping by 6.9 percent, OEM by 4.4 percent and special-purpose products surging by a robust 10.1 percent from the same period in 1993. …