Forest2Mill E-Newsletter
July 2009
In This Issue
Housing Market Update
The Benefits of Wood
Increasing Vehicle Weight Limits
What's New? A Tale of Two Offerings
Quick Links

 
 
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: A SUMMARY

Tepid, unemployment-induced consumer demand, higher interest rates resulting from inflation concerns, competition for capital and burgeoning foreclosures are continuing to hinder an economic recovery. Rising crude oil prices, a result of the falling U.S. dollar and renewed speculation by investors, are also an impediment. We expect the economy to follow a W-shaped trajectory, in which the recovery will be well below pre-recession levels.

For a performance overview of the Wood and Paper Products industries in May, click here.
HOUSING MARKET UPDATE
Housing Dominos  
A Tale of Two Statistics: Inventory and Price.
 
Like most economic indicators these days, the housing numbers in May were mixed. To provide an idea of where the numbers were hovering in May 2009 (the latest month for which statistics were available), Table 1 displays the data for existing home activity, new home activity and housing starts.
 
THE BENEFITS OF WOOD
Commercial Construction in Wood  
Using Wood in Commercial Construction 
 
Last month, we ran a story on commercial construction as a source of increasing demand for lumber and other building products. Here's one set of construction industry statistics that caught our attention shortly after that issue went to press. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the private non-residential construction category constituted 42 percent of the total value of construction put in place during April and May; total public non-residential construction constituted roughly 32 percent of total construction. Private residential construction, on the other hand, was 25-26 percent of the total in May and June. By comparison, during January 2006--the height of the housing boom--private residential construction was 57 percent of the total, while private non-residential was 23 percent and public non-residential was 20 percent.
INCREASING VEHICLE WEIGHT LIMITS
H.R.1799: The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009
Truck Hauling Timber
 
At the end of March, Representative Mike Michaud of Maine introduced the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009. This bill, if passed, will allow states the option of increasing the maximum gross weight on Interstate highways from the current 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. This new limit would apply to trucks equipped with at least six axles.

The bill includes a provision to increase fees for overweight vehicles and dedicate it to a fund that will help states pay for bridge repair and maintenance, which will be needed once the weight limits are increased.
 
WHAT'S NEW? A TALE OF TWO OFFERINGS
We've unveiled a new website in June. Visit us at www.forest2market.com.
 
We've also introduced a new wood bioenergy newsletter: Forest2Fuel. Sign up to get this free newsletter at:
Forest2Market´┐Ż
10030 Park Cedar Drive, Suite 201
Charlotte, NC 28210-8902
 Phone: (704) 357-0110
Fax: (704) 357-3574