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'Purchasing Plans' update confirms slow machinery sales

For the first time, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute ( has issued an update to its “Purchasing Plans Study,” asking respondents to reexamine their responses to the study earlier this year.
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The result: Anticipated packaging machinery spending for this year is $6.292 billion, down slightly from the $6.304 billion predicted in the initial research, which took place in December 2007 and January 2008. Overall, the updated research predicts a 0.4%-increase in machinery spending from 2007, down slightly from the 0.6%-spending increase predicted initially.

The only end-use categories where machinery purchases were expected to increase were foods and personal care products. Moderate declines were forecast in beverages; pharmaceuticals and medical products; chemicals; consumer, commercial, and industrial durables/hard goods; paper products, textiles, and other nondurables; as well as converters, printers, and “all others.”

Purchases are made primarily to accommodate new products and to increase capacity for existing products. Results showed respondents were emphasizing product safety, security, tracking, and labeling.

Sustainability-related issues are also influencing buying decisions, addressing efficiency, energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and general production costs and materials waste cited.

 A PMMI press release on the update notes, “Weaker-than-expected demand and economic uncertainty have led to project cutbacks, delays, and cancellations. Increasing costs for raw materials and energy spurred budget cuts for 15.9 percent of the companies adjusting their plans downward. For 10.4 percent of the packagers increasing their budgets, however, those same increased costs—which bump up the price of the machinery—are the reason.”

The “Spring 2008 Packaging Machinery Plans” update is free to PMMI members. Nonmembers can purchase the original and update for $2,500 total. Contact Paula Feldman, PMMI’s director of research and surveys, at 703/243-8555, or at

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