Spending on architectural glass-related nonresidential construction increased again in May compared to a year ago, though at a slower rate than in April. The value of glass and glazing activity was up by 1.7% year-over-year on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, according to Key Media & Research (KMR), a leading information provider to the glass industry.
KMR’s glass and glazing activity figures are adapted and modified from private and public construction spending data, with proprietary weighting and models applied to industry-relevant subsectors.
“It appears that the somewhat positive momentum we saw in the previous two months has eased back a bit,” said Nick St. Denis, KMR’s director of research. “April’s figure was up more than 5%, so the less-than-2% uptick in May signals some moderation. What’s more, the rate of increase in glass and glazing activity isn’t keeping up with the rate of inflation for industry materials.
“This trend will likely continue through the year as glazing contractors and glass fabricators adjust to significant price increases handed down from manufacturers in recent weeks. On the positive side, for now, backlog and demand remain strong. Whether that holds true in the near future will depend on how project owners respond to pressures brought on by inflation, and of course fears of recession.”
Commercial glass and glazing-related spending increased by 4% and saw its first decline in the office building segment in many months. Hotel activity remains down but is slowly turning around, and the “other” commercial category saw strong gains.
The value of activity on the institutional side dipped by 1%, as an uptick in healthcare building couldn’t quite offset a decline in educational construction.
On a month-to-month basis, overall nonresidential glass and glazing activity edged down by just under a half-percent, with a larger decline in institutional compared to commercial.
Nick St. Denis is the director of research for Key Media & Research, the parent company of USGlass magazine and USGNN™. For more detailed insights, subscribe to his free quarterly glass and glazing update HERE.