Daniel Meges

Recent Posts by Daniel Meges:

Material Trends in North American Remodeling Activity Begin to Favor Niche Products

Homeowners are remodeling again. They are on the lookout for products that compete with traditional high-end materials but come with a mid-range price tag. The underlying strength of the US housing market and the rising valuations of people’s homes are supporting robust activity in residential improvement, repair and remodeling.

This fact is underscored by the recent earnings of several big-box/DIY retail chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Home Depot reported in August that comparable (same store) sales rose by 4.7% in Q2 2016 over the same period in 2015 [1], and Lowe’s reported a similar 4.0% rise for its Q2 same store sales over 2015 [2]. Both stores expect full-year same store sales growth for 2016 to range between 4.4% and 4.9% as compared to the latest US Federal Reserve estimate of 2016 growth of approximately 2.0% [3]. Home Depot’s CEO, Craig Menear, specifically called out generally rising home valuations as the basis for his company’s optimism going forward regarding sales growth and overall residential renovation spending.

Topics: Materials & Chemicals House & Home Manufacturing & Construction Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

US Building and Construction Markets Continue Steady Gains

Both residential and nonresidential construction markets are on solid footing, and steady gains can be expected over the next 12 to 18 months. In 2016, year-to-date new home sales are up 9 percent and existing home sales are up about 5.5 percent, according the latest US Census and National Realtors Association.

Furthermore, housing prices are trending upwards and have increased 5 to 6 percent compared to the same period the year before.[1] The US Census indicated in May that the residential housing market was on pace for about 1.164 million starts for 2016, while Freedonia anticipates new residential housing starts will ultimately reach above 1.2 million for the year. In addition, home builder confidence has remained positive throughout all of 2016.[2]

Topics: Materials & Chemicals Manufacturing & Construction Custom Market Research Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group

Stiff Headwinds Face US Folding Carton Producers – Recap of Paper2016

In early 2014, the US folding carton sector looked as though it might begin to rebound. At that time, US exports of premium paperboard – SBS/SBB folding carton, liquid packaging board (LPB), and cup/plate stock – looked solid, and US converters had little incentive to source imported paperboard. US recycled grades were getting a boost by surging craft beer sales. US producers enjoyed a reputation for a quality product that could not be matched by many Asian (non-Japanese) suppliers, and longstanding supply relationships that had endured the financial crisis of 2008-2010 existed in the US and many foreign markets.

Topics: Industry Insights Heavy Industry The Freedonia Group