When John Meeks, McCoy Corp., addressed AMD attendees yesterday, he told them, “If you have survived the past five years you have had to make extremely difficult decisions. The government has not made the difficult decisions you have had to make.”

Although some of the statistics he presented as part of his economic forecast were dismal he pointed out some bright spots and encouraged attendees to look beyond the headlines. For example, he was disheartened by a recent cover of Bloomberg Business that read: “America Isn’t Working.” In fact, Meeks showed several charts proving that many states are improving as far as their unemployment numbers.

“We are survivors,” said Meeks.” And the good news is the millwork industry is faring better than the housing industry.” For example, some companies are doing well in markets such as interior doors, remodeling, etc.

“The remodeling market has been incredibly resilient,” he said.

Companies looking for additional opportunities should look to multi-family housing, he added.

Yet still, a full recovery won’t happen until new home sales and existing housing numbers come closer together. “Until that happens we won’t get out of this,” he said, pointing out that in the past these two numbers were closer together.

“Existing home prices are going to be moving up and that’s a good sign for us,” he said. “Mortgage delinquencies have been astronomical but they are coming down.”

However, Meeks said there is a “scary part of the recovery—shadow inventory. But the good news is those numbers are coming down as well.”

Meeks provided some key take-aways for attendees:

1. Focus on the remodeling market and multi-family;

2. Focus on taking share—This is always easier in a down market;

3. We are closer to the end than we are to the beginning.

“Position yourselves well. Survive to thrive,” he said.

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