Processors expect a parade in 2000. Let's hope no dark clouds appear on the horizon anytime soon. Our fax poll of processors, which we've done annually since 1994, set new records for optimism this year. Nearly 85 percent have a favorable or very favorable outlook for the economy in 2000. That's 23 percentage points higher than last year.
But processors do have some concerns. Finding and keeping qualified workers is a nagging problem, and nearly 60 percent are anxious about resin prices, up from just 40 percent last year. Commodity thermoplastics prices rose steadily in 1999, and some processors worry about passing additional increases through to customers.
Are these concerns enough to put a wet blanket on processors' picnic? Probably not — although we all know that a major resin plant outage or a hike in interest rates can change attitudes very quickly.