SPI says US plastics industry is on track to recover from recession this year
The U.S. plastics industry has an “extremely good chance” to recover to production levels from before the global recession by the end of this year, barring a Eurozone meltdown or other unforeseen economic shocks, a senior official with the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. predicted in an April 1 speech at NPE2012. “If the trends continue in the same direction, and nothing of a large negative scale like a Eurozone meltdown or something unforeseen like what happened in Japan does not occur, I think we have an extremely good chance by the end of the calendar year of returning to pre-recession levels,” said Michael Taylor, SPI’s senior director of international trade. While overall plastics industry GDP is expected to recover this year, Taylor offered some sizable caveats, such as that neither jobs nor the number of facilities are expected to regain pre-recession levels by that time. U.S. manufacturing should outperform overall GDP through 2013, with growth of 3.5 percent to 4 percent a year, compared with growth just over 2 percent for the U.S. economy generally, Taylor said. The U.S. plastics industry’s recovery is not uniform, however. The resin sector is faring best while the mold making sector is “problematic,” Taylor said. The other two of the industry’s four core sectors – machinery and plastics product manufacturing – are faring reasonably well, he said.