A second quarter of improvement.
Processors' optimism remained very high when they were surveyed in early July. Sixty-eight percent of respondents remarked positively about business conditions--that is, either rated current conditions as fair to good or at least saw signs of improvement coming. Only 30% commented negatively on business conditions.
Also encouraging was the whopping 12% gain in new tooling orders reported by 196 mold and die shops. This was the second quarterly increase in a row after five consecutive declining quarters, and the biggest jump since the beginning of 1988.
INJECTION MOLDING UP
Custom injection molding scored a four-point increase in capacity utilization. All regions of the country improved except the Southeast. The South Central region was again the strongest, and the West weakest.
Custom extrusion, although continuing to show the highest utilization rates of any process, was one of only two sectors that lost ground in the second quarter, the other being custom thermoforming, which was the slowest of all.
New tooling orders showed the strongest improvement in the West, and weakest in the Northeast. The ratio of shops experiencing longer lead times (29%) to those seeing shorter lead times (21%) was higher than in the first quarter.
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|Title Annotation:||plastics industry|
|Article Type:||Industry Overview|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1992|
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