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U.S. packaging machinery growth to reach $5.854 billion

Citing end-user/packager optimism about the economy, strong cash positions, and a “collective sense of urgency in reducing labor costs and improving productivity through expanded packaging automation,” the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (www.pmmi.org) forecasts a 3% growth in packaging machinery sales this year to $5.854 billion.

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The prediction is based on PMMI’s U.S. Purchasing Plans Study that represents 446 “decision makers responsible for 8괳 packaging lines in 1걛 plants throughout eight key segments of the U.S. market,” according to PMMI.

Beyond the major factors, end-user respondents also mentioned the following market drivers that figured into PMMI’s projection:

• Consumer spending increases likely to create a need for additional capacity

• A stream of new product and stock-keeping-unit additions

• Consumer goods companies continued focus on innovative package design, configuration, and materials

• Strong influence of super stores and retail chains

• Further attention to worker ergonomics, product security and safety issues

• The influence of underlying consumer trends, such as shifting demographics, competition among diet and nutritional theories, expectations for alternative package sizes and shapes, convenience products, the growing home ownership trend and resulting do-it-yourself market

The complete 2006 Purchasing Plans Study is available for $1귔 by contacting Paula Feldman, PMMI’s director of statistics, at 888/275-7664.

—Jim Butschli

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