Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Recent Data Show Favorable Growth for U.S. Plastics Manufacturing

By Kim Coghill, SPI Director, Communications

SPI released the industry’s latest economic statistics and analysis indicating that plastics manufacturing continues to flourish due to an abundant supply of inexpensive natural gas, low inflation and positive trends in the nation’s overall economic health.

SPI’s in-depth data analysis of the industry’s 2012 performance (the latest statistics available) globally and in the U.S. is detailed in two reports titled, “The Definition, Size and Impact of the U.S. Plastics Industry,” and “Global Business Trends, Partners, Hot Products.”

While the recovering economy is also an important factor in the industry’s success SPI President and CEO William R. Carteaux attributes the industry’s consistent expansion to its cutting-edge technological advancements. “The industry has remained highly competitive by finding innovative solutions and efficiencies, as well as by expanding its international reach to new markets,” he said.

Plastics industry employment has steadily improved since the 2008-2009 recession. The latest numbers show that plastics industry employment in 2012 included 892,000 people in 15,949 facilities across the country. The industry kept pace by growing 0.1 percent per year from 1980 to 2012, which is better than manufacturing as a whole.

The plastics industry is also responsible for creating a multiplier effect spurring downstream industries. In 2012, upstream industries accounted for 521,000 jobs or about 0.58 upstream jobs for every job in the industry itself.  Upstream industries generated $83 billion in shipments in order to supply goods and services to the plastics industry.

Meanwhile, plastics manufacturers shipped more than $373 billion in goods and invested more than $9.6 billion on new capital equipment in 2012.

Also reflecting the improving U.S. economy, apparent consumption of plastics industry goods grew 5.7 percent from $237.6 billion in 2011 to $251 billion in 2012.

On the international front, the U.S. trade surplus was $13.1 billion. Mexico and Canada remained the U.S. plastics industry’s largest export markets. The industry exported $13.6 billion to Mexico and $12.5 billion to Canada. China is the industry’s third largest export market.

Members are invited to learn more about the reports by participating in an SPI-hosted webinar, Thursday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. (EST). Carteaux and Michael Taylor, SPI’s senior director of international affairs and trade, will provide an analysis of the reports. Members who participate will receive a free copy of the reports, each valued at $395.

To register for the webinar, click here.


Leave a Comment