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Industry News

    • Industry News

      An Update on Plastics Manufacturing Employment

      In April 2020, plastics manufacturing employment decreased to 531,200 from 592,100 in March based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In May this year, the total number of employees in plastic products manufacturing increased to 589,200. While the gap is closing, manufacturing employment is still 2,900 short of March last year.
    • Industry News

      Inflation: The Economy’s Barking Dog

      There is a barking dog in the economy and its name is inflation. Headline inflation in June, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), came in at 5.4% from a year earlier. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was 4.5% in June. While energy commodities and used car prices magnified the increase in prices last month, the business and household sectors of the economy have had to deal with rising prices since March. Following 2.6% inflation in March, April and May continued to see inflation at 4.2% and 4.9%, respectively.
    • Industry News

      U.S. Beverage Consumption Bounces Back with Opportunities to Innovate

      Non-alcoholic beverages purchased for off-premises consumption in the U.S. fell from $103.9 billion in Q1 2020 to $98.0 billion in Q2 2020. Consumption of mineral waters, soft drinks, and vegetable juices fell from $84.9 billion to $79.3 billion over the same period. While U.S. retail sales at food and beverage stores rose 12.2% in Q1 2020 from a year earlier, the consumption of mineral waters, soft drinks, and vegetable juices fell by 1.5% over the same period. The convenience of single-serve bottled beverages took a back seat when COVID-19 restrictions went into effect as most Americans stayed indoors.
    • Industry News

      Update: Material and Resin Production Continue Recovery

      New economic data released by the federal government provides insight into the state of the plastics industry. PLASTICS is here to interpret signals in the noise.
    • Industry News

      U.S. Plastics Industry: Key to International Trade Now and in the Future

      The U.S. plastics industry generated an $8.6 billion trade surplus in 2020. U.S. trade in plastics—resin, products, machinery, and molds for plastics—with our 20 free trade agreement (FTA) partner nations totaled $15.6 billion last year. This is encouraging, but there’s also still plenty of opportunity for billions of dollars in growth.
    • Industry News

      Why Invest in Equipment? Economic Growth, Cheap Money, and Low Taxes (For Now)

      The U.S. economy expanded by 6.4% in the first quarter this year on a seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released on May 27. Plastic industry growth tends to track economic growth measured by gross domestic product (GDP). However, while the industry will be in profit-maximization mode this year, it should consider investment spending on equipment.
    • Industry News

      Retail Sales Hold Clues for Plastics Demand

      Personal consumption accounts for 79% of the plastics market. This year, the National Retail Federation predicts retail sales — excluding automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants — to increase by 6.5% to 8.2%. That’s an increase between $4.3 and $4.4 trillion in retail sales over 2020. That’s good news for the plastics industry.
    • Industry News

      Resin Scarcity Explains Lower Plastics Production in March

      Plastics production in March decreased 1.2% according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Resin shortages in recent months kept a lid on plastics production. However, compared to March 2020, plastics production increased 3.2%.
    • Industry News

      Autos and Light Trucks Sales Jumped in March – Transportation End-Market Outlook in 2021 is Bright

      Auto and light truck sales rose a solid 12.6% in March from February. It was a 56.2% jump from March last year. Of the 17.75 million units of light vehicles sold in March, 78.2% were light trucks and 21.8% were autos. The last time the U.S. saw auto and light trucks sales at this level was in May 2004 – light vehicle sales were 17.76 million units.