Mooney: Durable goods a boon for heavy-gaugers

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 1, 2013 2:47 pm ET
Updated: October 1, 2013 2:54 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Thermoforming, Automotive parts

ATLANTA — Peter Mooney thinks the pickup in U.S. consumer spending for durable goods is upbeat news for industrial thermoformers.

Spending on durable goods surpassed non-durables in 2011-12, and should grow more quickly in the next few years, Mooney said in a keynote speech Sept. 11 at the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Conference.

During the Great Recession, durables spending fell heavily, greatly outpaced by non-durable goods, such as thermoformed food packaging — which Mooney said accounts for nearly three-fourths of packaging thermoforming in North America.

The industrial thermoforming sector is much more diverse, and Mooney said "structural will rise again" as the economy continues to recover.

"There is more pent-up demand for durable goods," said Mooney, who runs Plastics Custom Research Services in Advance, N.C. He cited a housing rebound, which drives sales of appliances and furniture. The economist thinks durables will grow faster than non-durables, at least for the near term.

He encouraged industrial thermoformers — a group well-represented at the Atlanta conference — to look ahead. Looking back is not so happy, since the sector fell by double digits in both 2008 and 2009. Packaging thermoformers had only one down year — a 2½ percent decline in 2009 — before they bounced back strong.

After the two largest markets for industrial thermoforming — enclosures and material-handling products — the thick-sheet sector is divided evenly among aircraft interiors, parts for heavy trucks and automotive, and signs and point-of-purchase displays, he said.

Packaging remains a huge thermoforming market. Mooney said non-structural thermoforming accounts for 80 percent of the total thermoforming business. Structural forming is about 20 percent.

Overall, Mooney said that improving productivity is the big challenge facing the U.S. economy. From 1950 through 1970, U.S. productivity grew an average of 2½ percent a year. That rate fell to 2 percent from 1970-90, then 1½ percent from 1990-2010.

Now it's growing at just 1 percent a year. "This acts as a major depressive of U.S. economic growth and job creation," he said.

He bemoaned what he called America's loss of economic vitality. "We're not thinking big and we're not investing big as we once did. Instead, incrementalism is the order of the day," he said.

He thinks one problem is the stock market, which fosters short-term thinking; he blamed "heavy-handed" government regulations.


Comments

Mooney: Durable goods a boon for heavy-gaugers

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: October 1, 2013 2:47 pm ET
Updated: October 1, 2013 2:54 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Producers urge booming Brazilian housing market to use EPS

April 18, 2014 1:08 pm ET

Leaders in Brazil's plastics industry are asking lawmakers to mandate the use of expandable polystyrene (the raw material for expanded EPS) in new...    More

Image

'Thermoforming has nearly limitless possibilities'

April 18, 2014 12:54 pm ET

Julie McAlindon of PolyOne Corp. speaks about the future of thermoforming and the integration of Spartech Corp.    More

Image

Increased orders prompt Georg Utz to add capacity, equipment in Indiana

April 18, 2014 12:20 pm ET

Plastic totes and tray orders have picked up to the point where manufacturer Georg Utz Inc. has added machines, silos and material feed systems to...    More

Image

Navigating the rough seas of selling your company

April 17, 2014 2:47 pm ET

For family owned plastics firms who survived the Great Recession, many wonder: Is it time to sell, retire and sip cocktails on the beach? Or, maybe...    More

Image

Polyair rebuilds from Sandy with help from Process Control

April 16, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Hurricane Sandy gutted Polyair Inter Pack Inc.'s Carlstadt, N.J., plant more than a year ago, and Brian Clawson won't soon forget the devastation.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events