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Industry tries to build out of the recession

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  • | 2:20 p.m. May 19, 2010
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A nationwide survey of building materials companies shows a surprising amount of optimism, considering the industry has been ravaged by the recession.

To wit: A solid majority of the executives surveyed, 68%, reported an increase in quarterly revenue for the 2009 fourth quarter. Even more stunning: Almost two-thirds of the companies, 62%, reported an increase in annual revenues in 2009 over 2008.

The survey was commissioned by Sarasota-based Brooke Chase Associates, an executive search firm with clients in the kitchen and bath segment of the building materials industry. The survey also produced some positive anecdotal evidence about the potential end of the recession.

“Many of our respondents indicated that things have at least begun to level off,” the survey states. “And a majority expect a sustainable upswing within the next 12 months.”

Nonetheless, the industry is still in a perilous position. A huge majority of executives, 80% or more, say they will not be making any new hires in four of six job categories 2010.

Moreover, the response data to the question of how executives rate the state of the building materials industry can be taken two ways. To the good, 21% of the respondents say they think the industry is improving, while 52% say they think the bad times have “leveled off.”

That leaves 26% of the respondents in the declining category — an awful lot for an industry in recovery mode.


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