The value of U.S. contract glazier activity declined again in May, according to glass industry research firm Key Media & Research (KMR). Spending in nonresidential architectural glass and glazing construction was down 1.3% from April and 1.9% from May 2019, at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate.

KMR’s glass and glazing activity figures are developed from the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly construction spending report, with weighting and models applied to industry-relevant subsectors.

Overall nonresidential construction declines were less severe, at 0.9% month-over-month and just 0.3% year-over-year.


In May, commercial glass- and glazing-related spending declined 3.5% from the same time a year ago, thanks to a large dip in lodging (-14.6%) and a pullback in office (-4.4%).

On a month-over-month basis, commercial glass work dropped 1.4%, with moderate declines felt in all major subsectors.


The institutional side of nonresidential glass and glazing activity wasn’t as negative, as institutional projects are more likely to be designated as essential. In fact, the public safety subsector saw a massive year-over-year increase of 41.1%, which helped offset slight 1.2% decreases in the two largest institutional subsectors: healthcare and educational.

The level of institutional glass and glazing work was unchanged from May 2019 to May 2020, though it did see a decrease of 1.2% from April, primarily as a result of some pullback in healthcare construction.

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