"U.S. consumers are showing surprising resiliency," says the paper today, "offering some hope for the economy."

Well, I didn't think that it was surprising, and I wasn't hearing about any lack of hope lately. I kind of feel the economy is doing pretty great.

I spent a few days calling custom woodworkers around the country and I'm hearing pretty clearly that shops are busy. Almost too busy. Likewise their suppliers: a technology open house was mobbed, and we're seeing the equipment manufacturers jump on board the upcoming wood technology expositions with ambitious plants for Ligna 2013 and AWFS 2013, too.

Some are so busy they were feeling guilty about taking the time away to come pick up their Design Portfolio Awards Cabinets & Closets Expo Feb. 27-Mar 1.  (Almost every category winner will be there for our first time ever staging an event around these awards). One in particular told me his plans to come are based on the opportunity to network with potential customers for his new diversification into wood components that he wants to sell. 

There's always a lag between what we all see on our own Main Street, and when the numbers the economists track start to come in. Then when the economists start analyzing those numbers, you get the "cautiously optimistic" forecasts, while the rest of us see it all going gangbusters.

I'd run across a line from a wood industry exec last night, projecting how the rest of 2013 would play out. His business serves both residential furniture manufacture and business furnishings. he said that for the residential furniture side of his business, consumer confidence identifies the shoppers' likelihood to buy - and they are and will continue to buy he predicts.

For his business furnishings business, the projection rides up and down with the Dow Jones Industrial Averages and other indicators of the gross domestic product's direction. That's a little more volatile based more on how investors will view what businesses, not consumers, are feeling.

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