Contract Glazier Outlook Index Holds Strong For Another Year

By Nick St. Denis

The annual Contract Glazier Outlook Index (CGOI), a numerical measurement of the optimism and current health of the glass and glazing industry, tells the story of a vigorous glass and glazing industry and widespread positivity across the U.S. glazing contractor community.

2020’s CGOI is 68.5, the same reading as 2019 and still at a very healthy level, as any reading above 50 represents a positive outlook (the higher number, the better). Prior to 2020, the CGOI increased each year since its inception in 2017, according to Key Media & Research (KMR), parent company of USGlass magazine and a leading provider of information and research to the glass industry.

In 2020, a greater share of contract glaziers expect an increase in sales than in 2019, and the same applies to backlog. However, in the 2020 Outlook survey, recent hiring and future hiring plans were more subdued than in the period covered in last year’s Outlook. Combined, these factors evened out to produce an identical index reading in both years.

KMR’s CGOI is made up of five key drivers and measurements, weighted according to importance. Those drivers, in order of greatest to least weight, are: expected revenue changes in the coming year; current backlog; hiring plans in the coming year; previous year satisfaction; and previous year hiring.

A Look Back

Respondents were asked to grade, on a scale of 0-100, the degree to which 2019 met their expectations in terms of overall business. A grade of 0 represented “Extremely dissatisfied,” 50 represented “Exactly as expected” and 100 represented “Far exceeded expectations.” The average of all respondents was a grade of 80, up from 2018’s rating of 68.

A Look Ahead

Three-quarters of contract glaziers expect an increase in sales in 2020 compared to 2019, with nearly two-thirds anticipating an increase of 10% or more. This is an improvement from a year ago, when 70% predicted an uptick in 2019 compared to 2018, with less than half in the 10%-or-more category.

Hiring Plans

Glazing contractors plan to continue hiring in the year ahead. 62% of respondents say they hired additional full-time employees in 2019, and 65% plan to bring in new employees in 2020.

Assessing Backlog

Glaziers were also asked if their backlog entering 2020 exceeds their backlog entering 2019. 60% said “yes,” which is up five percentage points from the previous year’s report.

The Contract Glazier Outlook Index is part of the 2020 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook. The extensive report, by Key Media & Research (KMR), is a comprehensive look at the state of the U.S. architectural glass and metal industry. The report provides historical (recent) and forward-looking insight and analysis of recent trends to give suppliers, contractors, manufacturers, fabricators, retailers and more a sense of the industry’s well-being in the year 2020. KMR’s research division utilizes survey data,
regularly curated internal data, in-depth analysis of secondary data, application of proprietary models, and expert interviews/consultation from prominent sources within the industry.

Nick St. Denis is the director of research for Key Media & Research (KMR), parent company of USGlass magazine. He may be reached at nstdenis@glass.com or nick@keymediaresearch.com

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