Contract Glazing Outlook Index Showing No Slowdown in 2019

By Nick St. Denis

The 2019 Contract Glazier Outlook Index (CGOI), a numerical measurement of the optimism and current health of the glass and glazing industry, suggests glazing contractors collectively enter 2019 with a very positive mindset.

Satisfaction with the previous year and sales expectations for the coming year are about on par in the 2019 Outlook compared to the 2018 version, according to Key Media & Research (KMR). However, an uptick in backlog and very strong hiring numbers lifted this year’s CGOI to new heights.

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.

2019’s Contract Glazier Outlook Index is 68.5. This is a strong increase (more than 8 percent) from 2018’s reading of 63.2 and well into healthy levels. Any reading above 50 represents a positive outlook and the higher the number, the better—highest possible: 96.7, lowest possible, 3.3. The CGOI has increased every year since its inception in 2017.

A Positive Outlook

Contract glaziers again expect growth in all of the major commercial and institutional building segments in 2019, according to the 2019 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook report, produced by Key Media & Research.

While the office sector continues to lead the way on the commercial side,  healthcare facilities are expected to see the biggest increase in glass and glazing work. Along with a bump in educational building, healthcare construction is driving significant gains on the institutional side of glass and glazing construction.

Glazing contractors entered 2018 with big plans to hire, and even those ambitious intentions may have been exceeded. More than three quarters of  glaziers hired additional employees last year, and roughly the same amount intend to do so in 2019. However, for the third-straight year (since the inception of the Industry Outlook), the largest concern among glazing contractors is the skilled labor shortage and lack of qualified skilled workers in the industry.

On the supply side of the glass industry, entering 2018, nine out of ten manufacturers and fabricators said they expected an increase in sales for the year compared to 2017. Based on their satisfaction rating of the last year, these expectations seem to have been met. Looking forward, a strong majority of glass suppliers forecast another increase in sales in 2019 compared to 2018.

The Contract Glazier Outlook Index is part  of the 2019 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook. The extensive report is based on  insight, data and statistics compiled from a  survey* of U.S.-based contract glaziers, fabricators/manufacturers, systems suppliers and retailers, as well as economic and construction figures from various sources.

The 2019 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook Report can be purchased at

*Data are based on a survey of more than 180 businesses nationwide. Every U.S. region was represented by firms of all sizes.

Nick St. Denis is the director of research for Key Media & Research (KMR), parent company for USGlass magazine. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @KMRResearch.

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