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December  2015
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  Wood & Lumber  

Building and Lumber Forecast: Lumber and Construction Industries to Make Big Strides in 2016

By: Erin McClanahan (Sause Bros.), President of Hawaii Lumber Products Association (HLPA)

Lumber sales are expected to see a healthy boost now that Hawaii's construction cycle is well underway. According to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism's fourth quarter report for 2015, the value of building permits in the state increased by a whopping $675.7 million, over 28 percent, in the first three quarters of this year compared to the same time period last year. The most encouraging news is that the increase in the value of building permits didn't just center around Oahu but also increased on Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai, which were severely affected by the Great Recession.

Hawaii's unemployment rate continued its downward trend in 2015, reaching 3.2 percent in November, which is the lowest it's been since 2008. Construction continued to be a steady feeder of new jobs. In the first three quarters of 2015, 1,100 construction jobs were added, a 3.5 percent rise from 2014.

As Hawaii's construction sector hits its stride, so will the local lumber and wood products industry. APA - The Engineered Wood Association is forecasting an increase in demand for North American engineered wood products (EWP), including structural panels, starting this year through 2019 due to a projected 12 percent increase in housing starts in the U.S. Structural panel sales are expected to grow by 19 percent and other EWP will grow between 20 and 25 percent.

The lumber and construction industries will continue to rise in 2016 to meet the continuing demand of a growing population in need of housing and its commercial accompaniments.

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  Trade Expo  

Pacific Building Trade Expo

HLPA had a great time visiting with friends and colleagues at this year’s AIA/Honblue's 2015 Pacific Building Trade Expo at the Hawaii Convention Center on November 17.

Thanks to Beau Nobham (HPM), Keith Curthbert (ILevel by Weyerhaeuser) and Gary Okimoto (HWT) who joined Janet Scheffer (Mana Means) at this year’s well attended event.


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