Injection MoldingBill Wood, the principal economist for Mountaintop Economics and Research Incorporated, who works to measure trends in blown film, extrusion, thermoforming and injection molding does so while working with the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) under the Benchmarking and Statistics Committee.

According to the Q4 index the activity levels for plastic processing in the USA have been expanding at a moderate rate. During the last quarter of 2012 the growth rate was measurably slower. In the third quarter the rate was also slower, however, it is set to accelerate in the first half of 2013.

This can be known because for the third quarter in a row, a survey published answers to questions about recycled plastics consumption. Out of those who responded, it was reported that more than 30,000 tons of recyclable materials were used by the close of the 2012 third quarter. Of the recycled materials, the majority of them were PE in quarter 4, big amounts of PET and PP were recycled and processed. The rest was ABS, PVC and PS.

By the end of the 2012 fourth quarter a solid growth was shown in the 2012 Injection Molding Index. When compared with the previous quarters a momentum was shown to have eased after the first half of 2012.

This trend was verified by the slower patterns of growth shown in the second half of the year. This was seen in the Total Processors Index which was proven by the data trend that measured total USA production of plastics products which is compiled monthly by the Federal Reserve Board.

When compared with this quarter from the previous year, the third quarter of 2012 showed an expansion of four percent, which is the same rate that was revealed by the Federal Index during the second 2012 quarter.

This growth rate is projected to accelerate into the first half of the 2013 first quarter. Forecasters called for an annual growth rate of at least four percent in the total USA production for plastics products during 2012 and this is to be followed by gains of about five percent in 2013. The gains tracked during this pattern in 2011 were a healthy eight percent.

Total plastics product production is gauged as an upward trend that hit bottom during the first half of 2009. Although the momentum may have flattened in the last few months, it is expected to slowly regain the momentum over this next two years. This should recover the production ground that was deflated over the past several quarters.

The trend identified by the Total Processors Index is shown to be validated by the trend shown by the Federal Reserve Board's index. The total plastics production measurement for the USA means that both of them are designed as a way to cross verify measurements for activity in this industry.

A greater understanding is established every time trends are accurately measured and corroborated. Both indexes measure activity levels within the plastics industry. With the quarterly index breaking down trends into sectors such as thermoforming, extrusion, blown film or injection molding, as well as by sectors within the business industry such as new orders, profitability or pricing, after each quarter passes the database becomes more complete and our understanding of the industry trends over time increases dramatically.

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Topics: custom injection molding