Bob Wing, Little Giant Ladders Systems

Doug Wing, vice chairman of Little Giant Ladders Systems in Springville, Utah, retired after 47 years with the company. His last day was Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019.

Vice Chairman of Little Giant Ladders retires after 47 years

Little Giant Ladders Vice Chairman Doug Wing has retired after 47 years with the Springville-based company, which was started by his father, Hal. Doug Wing helped in all areas of the company, according to the press release, including manufacturing, sales and community outreach.

For the last six years, the press release states, Wing has worked with the cable industry to reduce injuries and save millions in costs by switching their products. In addition to working with the sales team, Wing has served as a member of the company’s board of directors.

Doug Wing also started the Hal Wing Memorial Ride seven years ago, an annual motorcycle ride with a route along the Wasatch Front and a raffle at the end. According to the press release, proceeds from the event benefit the Honoring Heroes Foundation, which supports the families of fallen law enforcement officers and employees of the Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Department of Public Safety. The press release states the ride will continue to be an annual event.

“Doug’s contribution will always be a part of the heritage and future of Little Giant,” said, Ryan Moss, CEO. “For the past 47 years Doug has touched most, if not all, aspects of the business. He’s held positions in manufacturing, operations, sales and executive leadership. Doug’s organization skills, connection to his customers and attitude of fairness are just a few of his many talents we have been blessed by. We will miss Doug and want to sincerely thank him for his many years with Little Giant. We wish him all the best in his retirement and future endeavors.”

Doug Wing’s responsibilities will be taken over by Little Giant Ladders Systems salesman Jeff Spackman, who has been with the company since 2017.

Zions Bank Consumer Index indicates strong holiday season

According to a press release from Zions Bank, the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index remained essentially unchanged from September to October; however, compared to last year, it grew 2.9%, compared to the national Consumer Price Index which increased 1.8% from October 2018.

The index found the price of utilities dropped 1.9% in October as the price of electricity decreased, although several other industries saw in increase in prices, including goods and services with a 1.3% increase, housing with a 0.1% increase, food at home with an increase of 0.3%, and clothing prices increased 0.5%. The press release states the 0.1% housing price increase ended a two-month streak of falling prices in that sector. Housing price growth continues to slow.

Meanwhile, recreation sector prices grew 12.9% since October of last year, the highest jump since Zions Bank began tracking the consumer price index in 2010.

Zions Bank reported that according to the national Bureau of Economic Analysis, consumer spending in Utah grew at a rate of 7.3% from 2017 to 2018, faster than in any other state. The press release states higher consumer spending often comes as a result of higher consumer incomes, overall price growth and greater consumer confidence. Randy Shumway, chairman and partner at Cicero Group which aids Zions Bank in its index, said Utah’s higher consumer spending is likely due to all three.

“In the second quarter of this year, Utah had the nation’s fourth highest personal income growth rate and sixth highest GDP growth rate. This means Utahns have more to spend and, as we’ve seen in past consumer attitude surveys, are quite confident in the overall economy,” Shumway said. “Add to that our continued modest price increases and it is not surprising to see Utah consumers spend more.”

Shumway said the higher spending is good for local business and a good sign for the upcoming holiday season.

Report shows West Region prices increased 0.5% in October

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that prices in the West Region, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, increased 0.5% in October. According to a press release, the increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline and medical care.

The press release states over the last year, prices for things other than food and energy rose 2.8%. Food prices rose 2.6%; with prices for food at home increasing 1.5% and prices for food away from home increasing 3.9%; and energy prices rose 2.0%, mostly due to increased costs for gasoline.

Over the past year, medical care prices increased 4.9%, and 1.6% just in October. However, also in October, prices for household furnishing and operations, and apparel saw price decreases of 0.8%, and apparel prices decreased 2.1% over the past year.

View the full report online at http://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/consumerpriceindex_west.htm.

Carley Porter covers northern Utah County and business for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at cporter@heraldextra.com.

Carley Porter covers northern Utah County and business for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at cporter@heraldextra.com.

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