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  • The mood among companies in the German wood industry clouded over slightly in October against the background of increasing numbers of infections. Although the assessment of the current business situation improved, the outlook for the coming months was again more negative. Is a downturn looming now? 

The figures still give hope and make it clear that the wood industry is doing well in most sub-segments in the Corona crisis: As in the previous months, the business climate in October was significantly better than in the entire manufacturing industry in Germany. At +1.6 points, its value was well below the corresponding value of +12.5 points for the wood industry. The main reason for this is that domestic demand is still intact: 70 percent of sales in the wood industry take place in Germany.

Overall, the company leaders in the wood industry assess their current economic situation as positive for the sixth month in a row, the value in October was +19.8 points (September: +14.1 points). The expectations for the coming months turned out to be more negative compared to the previous month (+14.8 points) – the current value is +5.4 points. Overall, the economic indicator of the Main Association of the German Timber Industry (HDH) fell slightly in October to +12.5 points (previous month: +14.7 points). For comparison: During the lockdown in April, the HDH economic indicator was -62.3 points. The slump caused by the first wave of pandemics in the spring was largely overcome by the German timber industry.

Despite the positive development, the mood in the individual segments of the wood industry remains inconsistent. The companies in the sawmill industry (+45.3 points), in the wood-based materials industry (+57.9 points), in the construction-related area of ​​the wood industry (+74.5 points) and especially in prefabricated wood construction (+90.6 points) appreciate their current situation as very positive. In contrast, the furniture industry assesses its current business situation (-4.1 points) cautiously and the wood packaging industry (-26.1 points) clearly negative.

In most sub-sectors, the expectations for the next six months are more pessimistic than the current assessment and, against the background of the worsening pandemic situation, lead to fears that the situation will worsen. The only exception is the wood-based materials industry: Here, companies expect a significant improvement.

Background: The HDH economic indicator is based on the results of the monthly economic surveys conducted by the Munich Ifo Institute. This is a survey of representative companies from the most important segments of the wood industry. The values ​​of the indicators range between +100 (all reports positive) and -100 (all reports negative) points.

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