Following are excerpts from the Feb 2015 Hardwood Leader. Declining energy prices will stimulate consumer spending around the world. If low oil prices hold, they will eventually drive down electricity and freight costs. Rising discretionary incomes resulting from lower energy costs could boost homebuying and remodeling activity, and with it, demand for cabinets, flooring and millwork. Sustained low prices could also depress domestic energy industries and the low-grade markets they support. U.S. hardwood exports to Europe will be doubly impacted by its weak economy and the rising dollar in 2015, but China’s expanding demand should drive an 8-10% overall increase in exports. Lumber production should remain in balance with demand, but could get ahead if production increases match last year’s. While we won’t see the widespread price gains of 2014, neither should we see wholesale corrections. To see how you can benefit from Hardwood Leader forecasts, call 704-543-4408 to request a sample.