INDIANAPOLIS (March 26. 2012)—A new survey of executives from rubber goods makers conducted by the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers shows economic strength and optimism within the industry for 2012.
Of the more-than 40 respondents—executives from non-tire rubber companies—72 percent said they expect sales to rise throughout 2012, and just 3 percent anticipate a decrease. This follows a strong or at least stable fourth quarter for many companies: 43 percent said their sales rose in that three-month period from the third quarter, while 26 percent saw sales remained the same.
Profits in the fourth quarter increased for 36 percent of the respondents, and remained level for 46 percent, the ARPM study said.
“The indicators that have come out of this survey illustrate that economic conditions within the rubber products industry are headed in a positive direction,” said ARPM Executive Director Troy Nix. “We feel that this data will help provide a positive path for our members and the industry as a whole.”
Another trend revealed in the report is that customers of ARPM members are not as aggressive in seeking overseas supply sources as they once were, and are examining new domestic alternatives. The association said none of the number of rubber product manufacturers reported they lost business in the fourth quarter to foreign suppliers. Nearly 20 percent of the companies said they actually gained business from overseas.
The study of companies from throughout the U.S. included about 31 economic indicator questions covering their fourth quarter performance along with forecasts for 2012.
The ARPM, established in 2010, has more than 35 members, and provides programs, networking and services to rubber companies. It is the successor to the Elastomer Products Group division of the Rubber Manufacturers Association.