According to a recent survey by CMM International, worldwide converting professionals expect 2005 will be a year of solid economic growth for the converting marketplace. Based on the responses of nearly 100 converters and machinery and materials suppliers, 80 per cent of the respondents said the converting industry economy will grow several per cent in 2005. Twenty per cent of respondents saw no improvement in the coming months and thought the economy would “stay the same”. No-one predicted a decline in economic growth.
When asked how their company sales would perform in 2005, they were even more optimistic with 92 per cent predicting an increase and six per cent indicating sales would stay the same as 2004. Only two per cent envisioned a decline in sales. Reinforcing this optimistic outlook, 45 per cent of those who forecast an up-tick in sales predicted increases of between six and 10 per cent. At the same time, 18 per cent felt the increase could be as high as 11 to 20 per cent, and 35 per cent are banking on a one to five per cent jump in sales.
The outlook for recruitment plans in 2005 is also very bright. A surprising 99 per cent of respondents planned on increasing (61 per cent) or maintaining (38 per cent) their current work force. Only one per cent said they were planning on decreasing the size of their staffs.
When asked “what are the biggest challenges your company faces in 2005,” 63 per cent of all respondents mentioned “the economy”. Although most converting professionals see the economy improving in 2005, many appear to be cautiously optimistic. Some of this concern can be traced to raw materials pricing that was mentioned by a few respondents. The next three biggest concerns were competition (42 per cent), changing technology (18 per cent) and hiring needs (5 per cent).
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