Steelcase Execs comment on the current economy

Steelcase saw order volumes slow from their largest customers, which is typical when the economy slows

“in the past, when the economy has slowed, we’ve seen the largest customers are often the first to cut back and that’s what we’re seeing this quarter…we probably have more of our business from large customers than the overall industry. So we are probably feeling the effect of the slowing economy a little earlier than others might…The first half of the quarter, five weeks in September and the first two weeks of October, were actually…stronger than we were expecting…then in the last six weeks of the quarter, we saw a 9% decline. And really, it fell off suddenly” –Steelcase CFO Dave Sylvester (Office Furniture)

“I will also comment I am a member of various groups where CEOs come together and talk about what they see. And for these large customer CEOs,, some of the outlooks, for example, business roundtables, commentary recently about business capital spending, would confirm that are large customers are seeing this headwind. So, whether we look at our data or we look at economic data or we just listen to what other CEOs are saying, we’re seeing consistent concerns from that customer group about the economic outlook” –Steelcase CEO Jim Keane (Office Furniture)

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