Gardner Intelligence Blog

Housing Permits Grow 16.8% in September

Housing Permits Grow 16.8% in September

There were 134,200 housing permits filed in September 2020, which was the second highest month since June 2007. Total permits in the three-month period ending September 2020 were the highest three-month total since July 2007. COVID-19, work-from-home policies and extremely low mortgage rates have created demand for new homes in the suburbs at the highest rate since the housing bubble burst and the Great Recession followed.

Permits filed in September increased 16.8% compared with one year ago. Three of the last four months had growth faster than 11%. Housing permits have grown for 12 of the last 15 months. In September, the annual rate of growth accelerated to 6.2%. September was the 13th-straight month of growth and the seventh in the last eight with growth faster than 5.0%.

Surge in New Orders Drives Moldmaking Index Expansion

The Moldmaking and mold industry has seen a surge in business activity led by expanding new orders.  This occurs when a growing proportion of respondents each month signals that new orders are increasing.  Gardner Intelligence sat down with Christina Fuges, Editorial Director of MoldMaking Technology Magazine (MMT), to discuss this and more.  Click here to watch the interview.

Surging E-commerce Transactions Mean That Making the Right Product is Not Enough, You Also Need to Have the Right Channel

The pandemic induced recession of 2020 has been profoundly different from those of the past in terms of how it has created distinctly more misery for the services sector and supply chain disruptions especially for manufacturers.  These unique aspects of the current recession are well understood and have been extensively covered in the media.  

However, there is another very distinct component to this recession which has received far less coverage than it deserves and that is how sales channel usage has changed.  E-commerce sales since 1999 have grown on average by 20-percent annually.   Yet in this unusual year, e-commerce sales increased by 32-percent in just the second quarter of 2020 as people in mass changed their purchasing behavior and attitudes towards on-line consumption.  To put this in perspective, based on its historical growth rate, e-commerce sales would have needed 1 ¾ years to achieve the same sales growth it did in just the March through June period of this year.

Rebound in Vehicle Demand Is Built On Borrowed Money

The recession brought on as a result of COVID-19 is in many ways unique as compared to past recessions.  For this reason we must be more careful in how we understand and respond to the current recession and not allow ourselves to think of it as a ‘normal’ recession and especially not as a variation of the Great Recession, an event which is still etched in the minds of many.  

The way in which COVID-19 has impacted the automotive industry is exemplary of why those who will be the most successful leaders coming out of this need to keep an open-mind and seek opportunities today, not simply conserve cash and take defensive positions.

Industrial Production Rebound Pauses in September

Industrial Production Rebound Pauses in September

In September, the index for production of durable goods was 99.9. Compared with one year ago, the index contracted 8.1%, which was the third month in a row that the month-over-month rate of contraction was about 8%. This was a significantly slower rate of contraction than April to June when the rate of contraction was faster than 13% each month. 

The annual rate of change, which is easier to correlate with other data points, contracted 8.6% this month. This was the seventh consecutive month of accelerating contraction. The key leading indicator of production—durable goods new orders—is starting to bottom out, according to its rate of change, and indicating that production should do the same soon. Also, consumer durable goods spending, which leads durable goods new orders, reached an all-time high for three months in a row and appeared to be at a bottom and about to start contracting at a slower rate.


Top Shops

‘Top Shops’ is a benchmarking and recognition program designed to help shops build their business.

World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more.

Gardner Business Index

A diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.