Plastics Processing Index Advanced in April

Production and new orders drove index to 54.6.


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The Gardner Business Index (GBI) for Plastics Processing moved higher in April, registering 54.6. Compared with the same month a year ago, the Index is 6.2% lower, indicating slowing growth over the past year. (Index values above 50 indicate expansion, a value of 50 represents no change, and values below 50 indicate activity is contracting.)

An analysis of the underlying components of the GBI Plastics Processing Index reveal that production and new orders drove the Index higher, followed by supplier deliveries and employment. Conversely, the Index was pulled lower by another month of contracting readings for exports and backlogs.

New-orders activity continues to expand faster among large companies. However, examining supplier deliveries by company size indicates that smaller processors with fewer than 50 employees have been reporting faster growth in supplier deliveries than larger shops through 2019.

The Index for just custom processors fell for the month to 52.2. This comes after the Index posted a burst of business-activity acceleration in February. Data from the Custom Processors Index reported contracting exports and backlogs during the month, causing the lower reading.

Gardner Intelligence bases the Plastics Processing index on monthly surveys of Plastics Technology’s subscribers. Gardner Intelligence is a division of Gardner Business Media, publishers of this magazine.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Michael Guckes is chief economist for Gardner Intelligence, a division of Gardner Business Media, Cincinnati. He has performed economic analysis, modeling, and forecasting work for more than 20 years among a wide range of industries. He received his BA in political science and economics from Kenyon College and his MBA from Ohio State University. Contact: (513) 527-8800; mguckes@gardnerweb.com. Learn more about the plastics processing Index at gardnerintelligence.com.