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Growing scepticism in German wood/furniture sectors

13.11.2020 − 

In spite of the positive development in most sectors at the moment, the German wood industry’s expectations of business development in the months ahead became cloudier again in October. In view of the worsening corona crisis, most subsectors are working from the assumption of deterioration for the next six months. Only the wood-based panel industry is still anticipating an improvement. According to the economic survey of ifo Institute’s October survey analysed by the German wood industry federation (HDH) this gives the wood industry as a whole, comprising the timber and furniture industry, a forecast value of +5.4 points, compared with +14.8 points in September. The rating of the current state of business, on the other hand, improved again slightly in October, from +14.1 points in September to +19.8 points, making it positive for the sixth time in succession.

Assessments of the present state of business vary greatly from one sector of the wood industry to another, however. Prefabricated timber construction (+90.6 points), the building-related sector (+74.5 points), wood-based panel industry (+57.9 points), and the sawmilling industry (+45.3 points) all expressed very positive views in October, too. In contrast, the assessments turned out to be rather negative in the furniture (-4.1 points) and wooden-packaging segments (-26.1 points). In the case of the furniture industry, however, these ratings derived from the ifo Institute’s economic survey cannot be reconciled with direct statements from numerous furniture manufacturers that are currently reporting very good business, high levels of capacity utilisation, and long delivery periods.

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