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Market ripe for borrowing, mergers: CBFC economist

Keywords: Tags  copper, brass, copper distributors, brass distributors, Copper and Brass Servicenter Association, CBSA, Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics Barbara O'Donovan

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla.— The time is ripe for borrowing money and making acquisitions, according to Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics and chief economist of the Copper and Brass Fabricators Council.

"Before the end of the year borrow money. Both as a corporation and personally, go borrow some money. This is the time for acquisitions and mergers," he said April 12 at the Copper and Brass Servicenter Association’s annual conference in Amelia Island, Fla.

Banks are willing to lend and borrowers should take advantage of the current low interest rates, Beaulieu said.

"Banks are looking for good borrowers. This is the lowest interest rate you’re going to see for a long, long time," he said. "The next downturn will be in 2019. Business is going to go down again. ... This is a great time to buy."

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is going to make it harder for people to borrow money from 2014 onward, according to Beaulieu. Dodd-Frank will constrict markets and drive interest rates up, he said.

"Do you want to borrow at today’s rate of 3.5 percent or at 7.5 percent in the future?" he asked.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to sell your business, you should look to do it before 2019, Beaulieu said. In his opinion, the best time for selling will be in 2017 and 2018.

"If you sell in 2018 you sell it for cash ... and you sell it to someone you don’t like," he said, adding that if buying now isn’t an option, then 2019 will be another "great buying opportunity."

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