The Journal Gazette
Friday, June 04, 2021 1:00 am


Welding supplies firm back in city

Staff, news services

Sutton-Garten is ready to celebrate its return to Fort Wayne. The Indianapolis company will host a grand opening at noon June 17 for its local branch, located at 5001 Industrial Road.

Sutton-Garten distributes welding supplies and gases for use in a variety of industries. The company also manufactures dry ice on-site and delivers bulk carbon dioxide for beverage systems and industrial users.

Sutton-Garten invested more than $1 million in its return to Fort Wayne about 15 months ago, but grand-opening festivities were pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic, a Thursday news release said.

The company opened in January last year with three employees and now has eight locally, Sam Gorr, branch manager, said through email.

“With the popularity of home delivery of food and groceries, and the rebound of the restaurant industry, we are confident that we will continue to grow and invest in our Fort Wayne branch business,” Gorr said in a statement.

Founded in Indianapolis in 1918, Sutton-Garten's presence in the Summit City dates back to 1946 when a local branch opened on South Harrison Street. The company later moved to a location on Industrial Road before the branch was sold in the 1960s.

Service sector growth hits record

Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, hit an all-time high in May as people flock to bars, restaurants and other venues across the country that now have fewer or no pandemic-related capacity restrictions.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its monthly survey of service industries jumped to a reading of 64, topping the previous high of 63.7 in March. April's reading of 62.7 was also considered strong, as any reading above 50 indicates the sector is expanding.

Productivity growth unrevised

U.S. productivity growth was unrevised at a 5.4% rate in the first three months of the year, though recent increases in labor costs accelerated.

The first-quarter gain in productivity was unchanged from the initial estimate a month ago, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The 5.4% gain at a seasonally adjusted annual rate followed a steep plunge at a 3.8% rate in the fourth quarter.

Productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, turned in weak gains over the record-long economic expansion that ended with the pandemic-triggered recession last year.

Mortgage rate stays under 3%

Mortgage rates were flat to higher this week. The benchmark 30-year home loan remained below the 3% mark amid continued positive indications of the economy's recovery from the pandemic recession.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average for the 30-year rate rose to 2.99% from 2.95% last week. At this time last year, the average long-term rate stood at 3.18%.

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