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2020 has certainly been a year of challenges for our industry. It is a difficult prospect, looking into 2021 and attempting to predict what is to come, but we at FGIA remain optimistic about the coming year.

It is with much relief that I can report many fenestration and glass industry companies performed better financially this year than they may have feared earlier in 2020. While for many it was not as lucrative as the first couple of months of 2020 indicated, recovery did come, and in some markets and geographies, it was unexpectedly positive.

Forecasting at a time of unique economic crisis inevitably creates challenges for forward looking market estimates, and there has been significant shifting in the overall economic position and forecast for 2020 as the year has progressed.

We are proud to be able to offer some new market data as we look to 2021. FGIA has just released a second updated industry market study in the FGIA Industry Update of the U.S. Market for Residential and Non-residential Windows, Doors and Skylights. This report is a more current overview of the reports released by the association in May and a prior update released in September. New forecasts are based on projections of construction activity as of December 2020, including a consensus of current economic and construction forecasts along with input from a sampling of industry participants on year-to-date shipments. Get the December 2020 FGIA Industry Update now.

According to the report, the changes to forecasts have been very positive in the residential market as housing activity and indicators, including booming home sales and surges in renovation projects, have all continued to show monthly gains since May, leading to continual upward revisions of forecasts for the year, although continued material shortages could have a hampering effect.

Indicators for non-residential construction have not changed in the same way, and while there has been some moderation in expected declines for 2020, it is still seeing a much greater adverse impact from COVID-19 and will continue to be negatively impacted over the next two years as increasing vacancies in multi-family and office buildings persist.

Overall, with COVID-19 vaccines currently undergoing limited release and anticipated access for the general population on the horizon, FGIA expects that 2021 will be much brighter compared to our 2020 experiences. Though the future continues to be uncertain, the fenestration and glazing industry can finally begin shifting its focus from crisis management to more familiar operations.