Everyone knows how bad 2009 was for the housing market, and the woodworking industry’s close relationship with that market meant tanked sales for many secondary wood product manufacturers.
While the results of a new study to be released this summer by Vance Publishing, Virginia Tech and the USDA Forest Service highlight the validity of that statement, there is some positive news to be gleaned.
• With projections looking somewhat positive toward the third and fourth quarters of 2010, by 2011 those surveyed expect to see additional improvements — albeit modest —in all the construction-related markets (single-family housing, multi-family housing, residential repair and remodeling, and non-residential/business construction).
• While that is good news, the woodworking industry overall still has a long road to recovery. While 13% of the firms reported an increase in 2009 sales, that news is overshadowed by the nearly 81% that lost sales volume. Most blamed the downturn in construction markets and the overall economy, especially housing, for the decline. Of those surveyed, 77% had at least some of their production volume directly tied to single-family home construction in 2009, and 84% indicated that at least some of their production volume was directly tied to residential repair and remodeling. For 27% of the respondents, more than 60% of their production volume was directly tied to new single-family construction.
More than 350 woodworking professionals participated in the survey. Full survey results will be printed in the July issue of Wood & Wood Products magazine and posted on WoodworkingNetwork.com.
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