IWPA calls for quick action on US-Mexico-Canada
International Wood Products Association CEO Cindy
Squires issued the following statement calling on the US
Congress to pass the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
¡°It is time for Congress to move forward with passage of
the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. USMCA will
improve market access and provide critical certainty for
businesses in every segment of the North American
international wood products value chain.
The agreement includes strong support for sustainable
forest management and notes that forest products, when
sourced from sustainably managed forests, contribute to
global environmental solutions including sustainable
development, conservation and sustainable use of
resources, and green growth. USMCA is a true win-win
for the environment and industry alike.¡±
Housing starts fell in June
US new-home construction fell in June for a second month
as a decline in apartment building outweighed a pickup in
Residential starts declined 0.9% to a 1.25 million
annualised rate, the slowest in three months, according to
figures from the US Department of Housing and Urban
Development. Permits, a proxy for future construction,
dropped 6.1% to a 1.22 million rate, also reflecting a
slump in applications to build multifamily units.
Two of four US regions posted an increase in housing
starts last month led by a 31% rise in the Northeast and a
27% advance in the Midwest. New construction declined
9% in the South and almost 5% in the West.
At the same time existing-home sales weakened as total
sales recorded a small decline after a previous month of
gains, according to the National Association of Realtors.
While two of the four major US regions recorded minor
sales jumps, the other two ¨C the South and the West ¨C
experienced greater declines in June.
Total existing-home sales dropped 1.7% from May to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million in June.
Sales as a whole are down 2.2% from a year ago (5.39
million in June 2018).
US job growth above expectations
Payroll growth rebounded sharply in June as the US
economy added 224,000 jobs, the best gain since January
and contrary to concerns raised that both the employment
picture and overall growth picture were beginning to
According to the US department of Labour construction
added 21,000 jobs and manufacturing, despite teetering on
contraction recently, saw another 17,000 jobs added,
above the 8,000 per month average in 2019 and getting
closer to the 22,000 a month average of 2018.
Manufacturing growth slows
In its latest survey the Institute for Supply Management
reports economic activity in the US manufacturing sector
expanded again in June, but at a slowing rate, as the
overall economy grew for the 122nd consecutive month,
according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on
Business. June saw the third straight month of slowing
Wood Products manufacturers surveyed by ISM reported
increased imports in June as well as lower sawnwood
prices. However, they reported an overall contraction of
business in June along with a decline in new orders, a
decrease in employment, low customer inventories and a
decline in order backlogs.
Canadian housing starts surge
In contrast to trends in the US housing sector Canadian
housing starts surged to the highest level in more than a
year in June, led by construction of multiple-family
dwellings such as condos and row houses.
In another sign of recovery for the Canadian real estate
market, builders started work on an annualized 245,657
units last month, a jump of 25% from May, easily topping
the median forecast of 208,600 units in a Bloomberg
survey. Multiple unit starts rose 31% on the month to
Gains were ¡°evenly spread out across the country,¡±
Jocelyn Paquet, an economist at National Bank Financial
in Montreal, wrote in a note to clients, adding all 10
provinces registered increases, something that hasn¡¯t
happened since 1996.