Fourth, September is the fiscal year end for the U.S. federal government, and stronger sales growth to these government agencies is contributing to a better start to the month. Keep in mind that it is difficult to forecast the extent of the benefit for the month as government spending at year end can be unpredictable. Beyond government, each of the remaining customer end markets in the United States is showing improvement versus August.
Finally, we lose a selling day in the third quarter versus the prior year. One less selling day typically results in reported sales being about 1 percentage point lower than the daily rate for the quarter. The 2012 third quarter will have 63 days versus 64 days in the 2011 third quarter.
Please mark your calendar for our 2012 third quarter earnings release on Tuesday, October 16. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (847) 535-0881 or Laura Brown, Senior Vice President, Communications and Investor Relations at (847) 535-0409. Thank you.
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