DECEMBER 2015 - Economic Indicators and the Manufacturing Economy………A vibrant domestic manufacturing sector is a key contributor to the economic engine of our country. At Sko-Die, we are firmly committed to the strength and expansion of our domestic manufacturing sector. For nearly 70 years, we have served an array of markets and customers that are all affected by the relative strength or weakness of several economic indicators. Though the major media outlets do make regular mention of our manufacturing economy, a vast majority of the discussion tends towards some of the specific subsets of our overall manufacturing sector, such as Housing Starts, Automobile production and Oil Pricing.

We certainly follow those indicators as part of our longer term view of the markets and customers that we serve. There are specific ties between these indicators and the overall product demand from these markets that we include in our short and long term planning. For example, lower Oil prices tend to put Oil Exploration and Drilling in contraction, which drives the demand for manufactured products that support those markets down. At the same time lower Oil prices also tend to drive expansion in Automotive and Aerospace markets. Those markets are also key consumers of the products and services that we provide. In a similar way, robust Housing Start figures drive expansion in Construction and Appliance markets. Those markets are key consumers of an array of electrical steel products that we proudly support.

As we look forward to 2016 and the ongoing opportunity to support our wide array of valued customers, we hear a variety of opinions and predictions as to what is in store for the U.S. economy in the coming year. Some speak of a manufacturing recession while others see positive signs for improved demand for their products. At Sko-Die, our plans for 2016 and beyond tend towards cautious optimism. We are aligned with strong partners on both the customer and the supply sides of our business. We continue to position ourselves to thrive in whatever conditions come our way. Throughout 2015, we have continued to invest in our business so that we are in the best position to support all of our valued customers. We have expanded our building and added manufacturing resources so that we remain in an optimal positon to support whatever opportunities we can. At the same time, we remain committed to Lean Manufacturing principles so that we can be the most reliable and efficient choice for our customers.

We are grateful for the new and ongoing opportunities that our customers have afforded us throughout 2015. We look forward to a prosperous 2016 with you and to continuing to play our role in helping you to achieve your goals and objectives. At Sko-Die, we remain….......