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    Author(s): Matthew Bumgardner; Urs Buehlmann; Karen Koenig
    Date: 2017
    Source: In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 184-191.
    Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (247.0 KB)

    Description

    The U.S. secondary woodworking industry has shown signs of improvement after the steep losses in sales volume associated with the housing crisis that began in 2007. Employment in several sectors has begun to increase, suggesting that companies that survived the downturn are positioning to increase sales growth. It is likely that investment plans to improve firm-level productivity or capabilities are also gaining momentum. The objective of this paper was to ascertain investment activities in the secondary woodworking industry based on a survey of "Woodworking Network" magazine subscribers conducted in 2015. The survey was the latest of a 6-year series that tracked firm performance and activities annually since 2008, with an added recent focus on investment plans. Respondents provided information regarding their planned investment levels, areas in which they planned to invest, and the most important current drivers of investment plans. While responses showed a general increase in planned investment levels over the next 3 years for large firms (65 percent planned to invest more in 2015 than in 2014), a plurality of smaller firms (42 percent) were uncertain of their investment plans. Furthermore, a higher percentage of large firms indicated they planned to invest compared to small firms in nearly every category investigated. There were some differences between small and large firms in what was driving company investment plans. The results suggest that overall investment activity might be expected to increase in the near term, but the business environment still remains somewhat uncertain for many smaller firms.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Bumgardner, Matthew; Buehlmann, Urs; Koenig, Karen. 2017. Investment activities in the U.S. secondary woodworking industry. In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 184-191.

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