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Like most industries, wood products companies face many challenges arising from changes in the broader economic environment. For example, the U.S. currently is facing the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression. The health of housing markets has consequences for the wood products industry, an integral part of the regional economy of the central Appalachians. We track and convey to our customers housing, demographic, and economic trends and information to support their efforts in evaluating the impacts of market conditions on their operations.
We conduct research to address questions from our clients on issues related to current economic conditions. Typical issues addressed include: macroeconomic trends including interest rates, GDP, inflation, consumer confidence, and employment; demographics; housing statistics including starts, inventory, home sales, and home prices. How do these metrics impact demand for wood products? Many of our clients either manufacture wood products – hardwood and softwood lumber, furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinets – or advise such clients (consultants, state utilization and marketing foresters, to name a few). We provide insight, analysis, and information that helps our clients successfully navigate an increasingly difficult business climate, and thus remain profitable, which is a key ingredient to sustainable forestry.
This information is distributed directly to the forest products industry, state forestry agencies, utilization foresters, consultants, and others involved in planning production and making decisions about future directions and markets. This technology transfer include publications in trade journals, refereed journals, workshops, web casts, and more formal presentations at industry meetings and professional gatherings. We know, from feedback, that this information is quite helpful to clients in their quest to better understand demand for wood products and the impacts of housing market gyrations on their businesses.
Schuler, A. 2009. Housing Market Analysis. Pallet Profile, March 20. Pages 1, 4, 5. Perkins, B, and A.
Schuler. 2009. Examining the Causes and Proper Responses to the Current Global Financial Crisis. Published in: Center Focus, Center for Forest Products Marketing, Virginia Tech, Fall & Winter 2008 issue, pages 3 – 8.
Buehlmann, U, M. Bumgardner, A. Schuler, and J. Crissey. 2009. Surviving the Deepening Downturn (how woodworking companies are surviving the current housing downturn). Modern Woodworking. April, pages 20 – 25.
Bumgardner, M. and S. Bowe. 2009. Impacts of changing markets and the housing downturn on hardwood sawmills in Wisconsin. Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association magazine. February, pages 30-33.
Luppold, W. and M. Bumgardner. 2008. Forty years of hardwood lumber consumption: 1963 to 2002. Forest Products Journal. 58(5):6-12.
Buehlmann, U., M. Bumgardner, Al. Schuler, and J. Crissey. 2008. Managing the downturn: shifting strategies in a declining housing market. Modern Woodworking. April, pages 40 - 49.
Schuler, A. 2008. Forest Economist Explains Housing Slump, Identifies Bright Spots and Biz Opportunities. Pallet Enterprise, January, pages 40,43,44,46 – 47.
Schuler, A. 2008. Part II. Forest Economist Explores Trends and Biz Opportunities. Pallet Enterprise. February, pages 16,18-19.
Bond, B., M. Bumgardner, and O. Espinoza. 2007. Current trends in the U.S. wood flooring industry. In Buckley and Clatterbuck, eds. Proceedings, 15th Central Hardwood Forest Conference. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. p. 443-450. [CD-ROM].
Bumgardner, M. 2006. Market shifts: assessing changes in hardwood demand. The Ohio Woodland Journal. 13(3):9-11.
Schuler, A and C. Adair. 2003. Demographics, the Housing Market, and Demand for Building Materials. Forest Products Journal. Vol. 53, No. 5, pages 8 – 17.
- Al Schuler, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station - Research Forester
- Matt Bumgardner, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station - Research Forest Products Technologist
- Craig Adair, APA-The Engineered Wood Association
- Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Tech
- Jeff Crissey, Modern Woodworking
- Bill Luppold, USDA-Forest Service Northern Research Station - Economist
Last Modified: 11/10/2009
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