Hope, Confidence and Mid-Term Elections

Unemployment numbers are slowly creeping down. Housing starts were up 15.7 percent in July, according to the Commerce Department. Business owners are showing more confidence in the Fed’s direction. And, if that’s not enough to feel encouraged, attendance at North America’s largest fenestration trade show – GlassBuild America – posted the largest attendance numbers since 2008.

It’s difficult to point to any single factor that has been key to recovery. The stars have simply aligned to give a much-needed boost to the residential fenestration market. Hope has clearly turned to optimism and apprehension has turned into confidence, which means a renewed interest in new technologies to drive performance and efficiencies.

With its millions of lights, Las Vegas is known as one of the brightest cities on earth. But I’d say our industry was one of the brightest spots in the city during GlassBuild with more than 7,200 of you showing up to take in all of the latest and greatest products.

While I was regrettably unable to attend this year’s show personally, I was closely monitoring activity and was more than a little encouraged by what I saw happening. In particular, one forum shared some insights that I feel are worth reiterating:

  • 2014 is the strongest year in residential spending in 7 years.
  • Consumer confidence is the highest since 2008.
  • Remodeling activity is at its highest levels since 2008 and is expected to make a full recovery next year.

And if you sell into Pittsburgh, Rochester, Raleigh, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Antonio and a few others, you are in for a real treat with these being the top areas for window replacement currently.

As an industry, we are feeling good.

Mid-Term Elections: a Make or Break Situation?

Back in March, I blogged on the 2014 bills to watch and we did watch them – we watched them drop off one by one. As I have mentioned many, many times, the 113th Congress will go down as one of the least productive in our country’s history.

While all signs point to a brighter future for industry, recovery is always a fragile state. To stay on the upswing we need stability. We need a Congress that will support our growth by passing legislation aimed at boosting the energy efficiency and stability of our buildings and homes.

The View from Here is that we have every reason to celebrate as an industry. And we have every reason to protect our future by actively supporting candidates who support us – and by participating in events and activities to make our voice heard in Washington. It’s the last key to our sustainable recovery, and everyone needs to get involved.

What’s your view? Leave a comment or email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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