Have We Hit Bottom?
Survey Results for 04/01/2009:
Have you hit bottom yet?
We're bottoming out and should see gains soon.
We're close, but not there yet.
We've past the bottom and we're heading up.
We still have a ways to go.
Not everyone is seeing positive numbers yet, by any means, but this week's poll results suggest some optimism is making its way into the window and door industry. I'm pretty sure that if I would have asked this question two months ago, "We still have a ways to go" would have received well over half the votes.
In response to The Talk, I heard good reports from quite a few readers—and someone reported seeing "Now Hiring" signs in front of one of North America's largest window and door manufacturers. Both Andersen and Simonton, which we reported last week were both bringing back workers, suggested the uptick in business resulting from the annual spring thaw and the new tax credit.
A lot of people are saying that the tax credit is spurring business, but some see any sort of growth coming more from confidence among consumers. "We are seeing life again," reports one lumber dealer from Tennessee. "I don't think it has anything in my market to do with what the Obama Administration has done. I think the warmer weather and public confidence changing is starting to change the economy. How quickly this economy will change and stabilize, I don't think anyone really knows . I see some indicators that are encouraging, but the national media will have to play a big part in our recovery. They will have to find some things that are good to report about. I think the public is tired of hearing the same old things over and over."
. I see some indicators that are encouraging, but the national media will have to play a big part in our recovery. They will have to find some things that are good to report about. I think the public is tired of hearing the same old things over and over."
While I'm more optimistic, I don't think we're necessarily out of the woods, and I'm sure many in the industry are going to hedge their bets for awhile. As one supplier pointed out, we still have the auto industry to worry about. A bankruptcy at GM or Chrysler would no doubt be a huge setback.
Still, nearly 20 percent of our respondents said business is already on the way up at their companies. Nearly 40 percent think they're going to see increases soon. I'm going to think positive too, for now.