News in covid 19

FEA’s Paul Jannke Provides Expert Analysis and Insight into North America’s Housing and Lumber Markets in 2022

With the U.S. economy and employment growing robustly in 2021 and 2022, interest rates remaining low by historical standards, many of the supply-side constraints that held back housing over the past half-decade resolved, and high pent-up demand, Jannke says that he expects housing starts will continue to grow from an average of 1.584 million units in 2021 to 1.618 million in 2022. Ultimately, he expects lumber prices will continue to be volatile in 2022.

USDA to Issue Final Pandemic Payments to Timber Harvesters and Haulers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on Thursday (12-2-21) it will begin issuing final pandemic assistance payments to timber harvesters and timber hauling businesses through the Pandemic Assistance for Timber Harvesters and Haulers (PATHH) program starting next week. In total, $200 million will be provided to loggers and log trucking businesses.

Chinese City of Manzhouli Temporarily Halts Rail Imports After a Sudden Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Starting on Wednesday (12-1-21), authorities said its railway port will “suspend the import of non-containerized goods including timber, coal, mineral powder, chemical fertilizers, and other products that require manual loading and unloading.” The aim is to “strengthen prevention and control” of the outbreak at ports and “effectively block the spread of overseas epidemics through imported goods.”

New Family Home Size Stabilize in Q4 2020 as Pandemic Shifts Consumer Preferences

According to Q4 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Starts and Completion by Purpose and Design and analysis provide by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), new home sizes did level off in 2020 after years of decline. This was driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and home buyers’ need for additional space as people use their homes for more purposes.

Total Consumer Credit Ends 2020 Flat

According to the latest (2-5-21) Federal Reserve’s G.19 Report, the economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the consumer credit’s trajectory growth rate for all of 2020. Revolving credit, of which credit card debt is a major component, shrank by -11.2% over the year, while nonrevolving credit increased 3.9%, thus producing an overall growth rate of 0.0%.

Canadian Unemployment Increases 0.6% in January to 9.4%

Statistics Canada (StatCan) is reporting that January employment fell by 213,000 or -1.2%. The decline in January followed a 53,000 decline or -0.3% in December, bring employment to its lowest level since August 2020. Most of the January losses were in part-time work and concentrated in the Ontario and Quebec retail sectors and in Newfoundland and Labrador.