Plastics production and capacity utilization data point to a recession in that’s being caused by higher interest rates and a slowing economy, Plastics News Economics Editor Bill Wood said in the July Numbers that Matter Live.
“Since about the fourth quarter of last year, the [U.S.] plastics industry has been in decline to a surprising degree. The rest of the economy is not in decline. The overall manufacturing sector is not declining as much,” Wood said in the editorial livestream.
He cited a number of factors including an underperforming housing market and deselection of plastic products in some end markets, including packaging.
Capacity utilization data points to two or three quarters for slower machinery sales, but the market should see improvement by the next NPE show, Wood said. Trends including reshoring, sustainability and a strong labor market also will help plastics over the longer term, he said.
The next Numbers that Matter Live is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 22. Subscribe to Plastics News for access to all of our editorial livestreams.