The packaging machinery sector continued a pattern of expansion during March, according to the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers' Institute's Business Conditions Index.
All four of the indices remained above 50, the index level indicating expansion or growth. General business conditions increased 1.1 points to 56; quotations dropped 3.6 points to 56; shipments increased 2 points to 54.5 and new orders increased 0.7 of a point to 59.7 points.
"This is the third consecutive month we have seen the all of the measures stay above 50 points," said Charles D. Yuska, president of PMMI. "Each of the indices continues to reflect growth, and the pace of expansion is increasing for quotations and overall general conditions."
An index of more than 50 indicates an expansion in the period and an index below 50 indicates a slowdown in activity. The March BCI tabulates the input of approximately 100 of PMMI's 500 PMMI member companies. The BCI is based on PMMI's 'How's Business' survey, a weekly poll of member companies and compares the third week of the month's report with the previous third week of the month. PMMI's Business Conditions Index collects data on four business indicators: general business conditions, new orders, shipments and quotations/proposal activity on a weekly basis.
Packaging machinery sales, quotation activity, new orders as well as general business conditions are leading indicators for consumer goods companies' consumer confidence. If consumer products companies believe that demand will weaken, they tend not to invest in new capital equipment. If, however, they feel demand will pick up, they tend to invest in machinery that will bring their products to market quickly and efficiently.
As the North American packaging machinery sector is of a global nature, indications of moderate growth in that region largely would suggest that, on the whole, the global packaging machinery sector is growing too. In Europe growth has continued at a slow but steady pace, whereas in Asia Pacific and certain South American markets growth has proved to be more explosive.
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute is a trade association whose 506 members manufacture packaging and packaging-related converting machinery in the United States and Canada.