State of the Plastics Industry – MAPP’s 1st Quarter Assessment

by Staff

MAPP conducted its 1st quarter 2010 economic survey in which data was collected from 141 industry executives via electronic input for a period of approximately 10 business days. Although not a scientific survey, participants were given the opportunity to respond to approximately 34 economic indicator questions covering their 1st quarter performance, along with their forecasts for the 2nd quarter of 2010.

The majority of survey respondents were injection molding executives with companies reporting less than $15 million in annual sales, although other processes and sales levels also were represented. Top markets served included consumer goods, automotive, medical, and electronics.

Key data reveals a continued rebound for the plastics industry, as sales figures have increased for the third consecutive quarter. Actual sales trends for the 1st quarter 2010 held strong as nearly 75 percent of the survey respondents indicated an increase from 4th quarter 2009, and business leaders demonstrated optimism in their sales forecasts as 8 out of 10 respondents anticipate an increase in sales over the next twelve months. Another point of emphasis in MAPP’s 1st Quarter Economic Survey revealed that 16 percent of the survey participants actually gained business from their foreign counterparts, a trend that has continued since mid-2009.

Data from an operational viewpoint also indicates a strong rebounding trend from the 4th quarter of 2009, as nearly 52 percent of business leaders reported an increase in their number of production employees, with over 35 percent projecting workforce expansions throughout the 2nd quarter of 2010. In addition, 30 percent of those completing the survey projected an increase in the employee work week for the 2nd quarter, while 61 percent indicated that the duration of their work week would remain about the same. As business activity was shown to significantly increase over the last quarter, nearly 6 out of 10 executives also indicated that their profits were “great” to “acceptable,” with less than 9 percent reporting that profits were “very weak to unacceptable.”

In addition to the information highlighted, MAPP’s State of the Plastics Industry report contains additional data on competition between domestic and foreign suppliers, raw materials pricing, inventory levels, and profitability. New to the 1st Quarter 2010 survey are questions relating to premium rate increases experienced in 2009 and projections for 2010 for health care insurance.

To obtain the full State of the Plastics Industry report, contact MAPP at (317) 913-2440 or visit The cost of the full report is $69.99 for non-members.