Coronavirus: Industry & Market News


See updates, news, and market information below.


Updated 8-5-2020


Home Purchase Plans Little Changed by Pandemic

The share of Americans who are considering the purchase of a home in the next 12 months was essentially flat (11%) compared with the same quarter of 2019 (12%). The share of prospective first-time buyers is the same in the second quarter of 2020 (59%) as it was a year earlier (58%). July 22, 2020. Home Purchase Plans Little #5FC


Lumber Wins, Paper Loses In Work-From-Home Trend (Toilet Paper Notwithstanding)

As shut-in Americans build decks and fences, lumber benefits. However, office closures are devastating the paper industry. Bloomberg, July 30, 2020.


Cities Crack Down on COVID-19 Jobsite Violations

As the pandemic surges in some parts of the country, jurisdictions are cracking down on jobsite violations related to social distancing, handwashing and other precautions. For example, the city of Austin said it would take employers to court if they have several violations of the city’s emergency rules and will issue fines up to $2,000. Construction Dive, July 21, 2020. Cities, OSHA crack down on #8E1




China and COVID-19

China’s construction and investments around the world plunged in the first half of 2020. The Belt and Road initiative is becoming more important, primarily because rich countries are now more hostile to Chinese entities. American Enterprise Institute, July 2020. China’s global investment v#45E


Monthly Percentage Changes in Manufacturing Production

Monthly Percentage Changes in Manufacturing Production











U.S. Chamber Coronavirus Relief Priorities logo

Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a letter, available here, sent to President Trump, House Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell highlighting key areas for Coronavirus pandemic relief important to their membership. The letter highlights 16 pages of expansive recommendations related to these five key areas as well as an appendix of further information.

The letter focuses on five key priorities:

  1. Liability Protection Against Unwarranted Lawsuits;
  2. Support for Small and Midsize Employers;
  3. Support for Childcare and K-12 Schools;
  4. Unemployment and Job Training, and
  5. State and Local Assistance

Press materials associated with the letter are available here.

President Signs PPP Extension,

Hardwood Industry Proposes Pandemic Relief Policies to Senate

The Hardwood Federation has proposed various relief policies to the Senate in a letter written to Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. The proposals include extended liability protections to businesses bringing workers back to work, reversing the decision to limit Economic Injury Disaster Loans to $150,000, extending sustainable tax credits, and increasing government purchases of U.S. wood products., June 15, 2020. Hardwood industry proposes #39F

NBMDA Distributors See Business Decline During Pandemic

According to a survey taken by the North American Building Materials Distribution Association, about half of responders indicated the impact of the virus was about what they expected and about 37% saw a 20 to 30% decline in business during the March-April time frame. Participating manufacturers included Columbia Forest Products and Roseburg Forest Products., June 19, 2020. NBMDA distributors see busi#3A1

A “Hot Spot” for COVID Cases Said to be Among Flooring Workers

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia said that the hot spot cases in Dalton, Georgia appear to be tied to workers in the flooring industry. Georgia has been averaging 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 per day for the past two weeks according to the Charlotte Observer.

Wood Floor Business, June 29, 2020. Governor- Dalton Flooring W#3A2

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Extend Forbearance for Multifamily Property Owners,

Hardwood Federation issues COVID-19 related policy proposals; Suggestions aim to help an industry reeling from effects of global pandemic,

PPP Extension Signed into Law

As expected, on June 5th President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act (PPFA), which extends and expands the previous Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Thus far the Small Business Administration (SBA) has worked with more than 5,000 lenders to approve 4.5 million loans totaling $510.2 billion of the program’s $659 billion in total lending authority as of May 30.

HF Issue Update: PPP Extension Signed into Law,

The “Protective Shield” Declines

Backlog, the industry’s protective shield continues to decline in every category and region. The Associated Builders and Contractors reported that its Construction Backlog Indicator fell to 7.8 months in April, the lowest reading since the 3rd quarter of 2012. The construction backlog is down 0.4 months compared to March 2020 and 1.7 months from a year ago.

Construction Dive, May 12, 2020.  Backlog, the industry's 'pr#39C


China trade and COVID-19: A one-two punch hitting US hardwood producers,

Vietnam wood products exports up by 6 percent despite pandemic,


Chamber of Commerce reopening

Chamber of Commerce state by state reopening


Data available via

Summary of cumulative Paycheck Protection Program data as of 5:00 p.m. EDT, May 23, 2020.

Approved Loans Approved Dollars Average Loan Size # of Participating Lenders
4,460,265 $510,536,339,105 $114,463 5512


In total, the SBA guaranteed 4,426,118 Paycheck Protection Program loans through May 23, 2020. For more information on loan activity, click here.

In total, the SBA guaranteed 4,341,145 Paycheck Protection Program loans through May 16, 2020. For more information, click here.

In Round Two of the Paycheck Protection Program (April 27 - May 8, 2020), the SBA has guaranteed 2,571,167 loans. For more information, click here.

In Round Two of the Paycheck Protection Program (April 27 - May 1, 2020), the SBA has guaranteed 2,211,791 loans For more information, click here.

In Round One of the Paycheck Protection Program, (through April 16, 2020), the SBA guaranteed 1,661,367 loans. For more information, click here.

Woodworking Firms See Increasing Impact Of Coronavirus

A Woodworking Network survey confirms that the impact of the pandemic on our industry continues to grow as more companies report a major or serious impact on their business. The breakdown: 35.7% of companies report a major impact; 40.9% a serious impact; 19.1% a minor impact; and 4.3% report no impact.

Source: Woodworking Network

Listen to Daniel Durden, Executive Officer of PA Builders discuss his state's plan to allow limited construction to begin at the end of this week

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global and EU trade

All heading lower - February data shows early impact of pandemic on US wood products imports

5 Things to Know About Climate Change and Coronavirus With WHO Climate Lead Dr. Campbell-Lendrum

Live interviews with experts examining the linkages between COVID-19 and climate change

Virus cancels crucial season of managed fires

How to keep workers healthy on the job - Employers can stagger breaks, deep-clean surfaces, limit meetings and offer on-site testing. Scott Gottlieb Resident Fellow, AEI

The ‘new normal’: Thoughts about the shape of things to come in the post-pandemic world Nicholas Eberstadt and Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute

Fed Will Publicize Names of Facility Participants; Impact on Ultimate Borrowers Is Unclear
The Federal Reserve Board recently announced its commitment to publicizing substantial amounts of information on its facilities and programs that use funds authorized under the CARES Act. To a large degree, this move is required under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, which as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 requires the Board to report the identities of the participants in its emergency lending programs. But the facilities established for COVID-19 relief are categorically different from those created for the 2008 financial crisis, because the participants are not the beneficiaries of the programs.

Impact of Virus on Wood Industry Will Continue Into 2021

April 8, 2020.  Virus will have impact on w#C36

U.S. GDP is expected to decline by 8% in 2020 with considerable uncertainty in 2021

Housing starts will fall off, tree planting will be curtailed, and global trade in wood products will also decline. Home remodeling, however, may actually rise in certain months in both 2020 and 2021.

Virus Now Impacting Home Buying Traffic For Nearly All Builders

U.S. Housing Supply Already Sees Hit From Covid-19

Lumber And The Housing Market- A Rough Road Ahead

Kitchen Cabinet Industry Changes In Structure

There were a number of changes in the cabinet industry, with the largest casualty in May when Wood-Mode in Pennsylvania closed, affecting more than 900 employees. Wood-Mode was purchased by Professional Building Systems who reopened the plant later in the year, but with only 235 employees. Even with a great number of changes in the industry, KCMA reported that 2019 cabinet sales were up 0.6% when compared to 2018. April 7, 2020.  Major FDMC 300 cabinet comp#D19

Green Building Programs Revise Inspection Procedures

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response, organizations such as the EPA, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and Home Innovation Research Labs (HI) are adopting emergency procedures for their green building programs to protect the health and safety of rating providers using remote inspections with video and/or photo documentation for verification and the likelihood of additional documentation. April 7, 2020.  Green Building Programs Rev#B8A

Ohio building products supplier Granville Lumber permanently closes its doors after 75 years

Coronavirus Forces New Approaches to Fighting Wildfires

Despite COVID, Amazon deforestation races higher

Coronavirus reaches Amazon's isolated Yanomami tribe

Don't Look To Mature Forests To Soak Up Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Quebec Shuts Down Non-Essential Services

Quebec has shut down wood product manufacturers from March 24 until midnight April 13, 2020 considering them non-essential services. 

SOURCE: Decorative Hardwoods Association, les boisés La Fleur, March 23, 2020.

New Zealand Forest Products Industry to Shut Down

The New Zealand wood processing and manufacturing industry was scheduled for a March 25, 2020 lockdown. The sector had not been classified as an essential business.

SOURCE: Global Wood Markets Info, March 25, 2020.  New Zealand's lockdown forc#6D9

Australia’s Construction Industry “On Brink of Collapse”

The Australian construction industry was in serious trouble even before COVID-19. This is the sentiment of Joe Barr, CEO of John Holland, one of Australia’s biggest infrastructure firms and a wholly owned subsidiary of China Communication Construction Company.

SOURCE: Wolf Street, March 22, 2020. Australia’s Construction In#807

Plywood Industry in India District Hit as Migrants Leave

Closure of shops and other establishments because of fear over COVID-19 have led to the exodus of migrant workers from various parts of the Kerala District in India. The production of the plywood industry has been reduced to half as migrants returned to their homes.

SOURCE: The Times of India, March 24, 2020.  Plywood industry hit as mig#6D6

NAHB Map Highlights Coronavirus-Related Exemptions

NAHB has produced a map that will be updated periodically that shows orders by state governments for the closure of non-essential businesses. 

SOURCE: LBM Journal, March 24, 2020. NAHB map highlights COVID-1#808

Virus Survey by the Associated General Contractors (AGC)

In the first weekly survey, AGC indicated that 28% of its members’ projects have been halted or delayed. 909 AGC members responded to the first survey.

For Construction Pros, March 20, 2020. Coronavirus Halts or Delays#809