Contact: Bill Greer

          FMI Commends White House and Congress
          For Enacting Economic Stimulus Plan

Food Retailers Can Add Jobs, Invest in Consumer Service and Technology

ARLINGTON, VA — February 13, 2008 — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) praised the White House and Congress for swift and well-targeted action to boost consumer spending and business investment as President George W. Bush signed the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 this afternoon.

     “This plan puts more than $100 billion into the hands of consumers who need it the most to help pay for life’s necessities,” said FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “Businesses can use the other $45 billion to employ more people and invest in growth and technology.”

     “This stimulus package will benefit food retailers, especially smaller ones, who are expanding job-rich prepared foods departments, health and wellness programs and other consumer services to compete more effectively,” he said. “They can also use the funds from increased deductions and depreciation to upgrade computer systems, particularly software — essential investments for an industry undergoing fast-paced technological change.”

     “The timing of this plan could not be better,” Hammonds added. “It is most encouraging to see decisive bipartisan action that benefits American consumers and the U.S. economy. We encourage Washington to address other consumer and economic issues with the same bipartisan spirit. These include reining in inflated credit card fees and taking action to reduce organized retail crime.”

     The stimulus plan will provide rebates as high as $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples. For businesses, it doubles the Section 179 deduction for investments to $250,000 in 2008. The plan also provides businesses a 50 percent increase in first-year depreciation for investments in property, including computer software.