Slow growth in packaging mirrors economy (sidebar)

Canadian shipments slow in 2000

Although operating in a different scale, shipments of Canadian packaging equipment grew by 4.9% in 2000, a marked decline in the growth rate from the previous two years. The total value of shipments was C$352.9 million (US$237.6 million). The growth rate of Canadian packaging equipment shipments has been more than double that of U.S. machinery makers because the Canadian companies have enjoyed two advantages that are now narrowing. First, Canadian companies are still in the process of expanding sales coverage, especially into the U.S. market, so the growth potential is greater than that of their U.S. counterparts. Second, Canada enjoys a more favorable exchange rate worldwide. Thus, its export business, which accounts for 64.3% of overall volume, has held up well, while U.S.-made machinery exports have declined. Because of the economy, PMMI forecasted Canadian packaging machinery shipments to be off 3.5% in 2001. However, next year and 2003 are predicted to turn around with 6.5% and 9.5% growth, respectively.

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