INDIANAPOLIS—A survey based on the responses of 180 rubber and plastics industry executives shows a sense of optimism, according to the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers.
"It is definitely a positive trend in the industry when over 75 percent of the companies are expecting an increase in sales this year compared to last year," said Marcella Kates, communications coordinator with the ARPM. "And it looks like a sustained trend with over 80 percent projecting sales to increase in 2014."
The study—which included executives from a variety of company sizes, process and markets served—showed more than 70 percent of responders report their company's profits are great or at least acceptable.
"With the increased sales and improved profit levels, companies are looking to invest in their businesses," Kates said. "A solid 53 percent are looking to reinvest in their companies, with 36 percent anticipating that they will maintain similar investment levels."
The report found that nearly 50 percent of companies mention an increase in the hiring of production employees, and 40 percent said customers are relocating work from off-shore back to the U.S. This is significant news, as the trend in the past has been to move work out of the country.
This is just one more indicator of the positive upswing in production, sales, and optimism in the manufacturing industry in the U.S. as a whole, the ARPM said.
"This economic report is critical to businesses and executives as it provides our members with insight into the macroeconomic conditions and trends of the processing industry," said ARPM Executive Director Troy Nix. "With the integration of historical data, it is our hope that rubber manufacturing executives will get a good sense about the position of their own company in the marketplace."
For more information about the association or its report, State of the U.S. Rubber and Plastics Products Industry, phone 317-863-4072 or visit www.arpminc.com.