Dip in February Glazing Activity May Signal Start of COVID-19’s Impact

The value of nonresidential contract glazier activity in the U.S. declined in February compared to January, according to Key Media & Research (KMR).

Nonresidential construction declined 1.8% for the month but was still up 2.5% year-over-year on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. When adjusted with KMR’s industry-focused models, the value of nonresidential glass- and glazing-related activity dipped a full 2% month-over-month and edged up 0.9% from a year ago.

Given the severe economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, monthly declines are anticipated in future reports as March and April data are released, though the extent is to be determined.

Commercial Glazing Activity

Contract glaziers saw a 2.3% decline in the value of commercial work from January to February, while spending in this category was 2.2% higher than the same month a year ago.

The office segment dropped 0.7% year-over-year but increased 2.6% on a monthly basis, while lodging saw a yearly decline of 10% and a month-over-month dip of 3.6%. The other major glass-relevant “commercial” subsector, which includes retail, increased 6.5% yearly but declined 3.4% monthly.

Institutional Glazing Activity

Institutional building was down 1.6% from January to February and down 0.6% from the same time last year.

The largest subsector in this category, educational building, declined 1.5% for both the year and the month. Healthcare, the second most relevant institutional segment to the glass and glazing industry, saw a yearly decrease of 3% and a monthly dip of 2.6%.

Industry Employment

Employment in the industry declined for the month but was still higher than a year ago. Nonresidential specialty trade contractors, which include glaziers and ironworkers, saw a 3% increase in employment in March 2020 from March 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, the Associated General Contractors of America reported on April 3 that 27% of construction firms responding to a survey that week indicated that they have furloughed or terminated construction workers, so next month’s jobs report should give a better indication of where the industry stands.

Nick St. Denis is the director of research for Key Media & Research, parent company of USGlass magazine.

This article is from USGNN™, the daily e-newsletter that covers the latest glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to USGlass magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge Sign up today.

This entry was posted in Featured News, News, Today's News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.