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Packaging demand and the economy

International Paper CEO John Faraci says the U.S. economy is recovering gradually—packaging demand is the key for IP’s business.

Boxes on conveyor
Boxes on conveyor

International Paper president and CEO John Faraci discussed packaging, U.S. manufacturing, and the economy during a Feb. 23 interview with Tom Hudson on the Nightly Business Report.

Hudson noted that executives and business colleagues always talk about regulations holding back business, hiring, and investment. When he asked Faraci what he would say to those colleagues, the IP CEO responded: “I think that’s over emphasized. It is an issue, but to me what’s holding back investment and employment is not regulation and uncertainty. It’s demand. …We’ll make packaging if our
customers need packaging.”

When asked what IP’s business and pipeline for the year tell him about the U.S. economy, Faraci noted, “Our packaging business really goes into every nondurable, [and] every durable segment. And what we’re seeing is a recovering but far from fully recovered economy. If we add all the sectors, some have returned to their pre-recession peaks, but overall our packaging business is about halfway recovered. So I think it fell about 12 to 15 percent. It’s now up maybe 5 to 6 percent and so we see a fairly slow but gradual recovery. Eventually we’ll get back to where we were, but it is not going to be a V-shaped curve at all.”

Nightly Business Report is an Emmy-winning evening business news program carried by more than 250 local public television stations.

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