Suppliers Predict Strong 2003 Recovery

NEW YORK, NY & CHICAGO, IL, USA —Converting machinery and materials suppliers reportedly believe their economic sector will improve by a 13 percent average in 2003. That's according to a recent survey conducted by CMM Events, organizer of CMM (Converting Machinery/Materials Conference and Expo) International. But other recent news reports reveal that some raw materials producers, as well as US government officials, are a bit less optimistic about a strong recovery next year.

CMM's Outlook
According to CMM Events, in August, it asked a global audience of converting and machinery materials suppliers (that exhibit at CMM) a series of questions regarding the overall converting economy and their company's business outlook. CMM identifies the key findings regarding the converting economy as:

  • 81% respondents believe it will improve by an average of 11% during the next six months

  • 94% expect a 13% improvement overall through the end of 2003, with 84% predicting the upswing will be in the second quarter

  • Less than 29% of respondents were pessimistic, with only a handful saying the economy would deteriorate more than 10 percent in 2003.

"The results are very encouraging," says Leo Nadolske, VP of CMM Events.

Yet the trade show sponsor adds even though the survey results were overwhelmingly positive, some lingering economic concerns were in evident in responses regarding individual company performance. "When asked what their biggest challenges [were going to be] during the next 12 months," states CMM's release, "the vast majority of answers were economy related. 'Cash flow' and 'increase sales' were the most frequent responses, followed closely by 'more budget cutbacks' and 'controlling costs.'"

From Perky to Murky?
Though CMM Events' supplier survey shows optimism, a September 25 Reuters article by Ashley Seager, "Even Greenspan Finds Economy's Future Murky," provides the other side of the economic-outlook coin. "Our ability to forecast is limited," Seager quotes Greenspan, to which, she reports, he added: "We have to have some humility."

However, Seager says: "But [Greenspan] did say he did not forsee the US economy—the world's largest—slipping back into a renewed recession after climbing out of a slump last year."

Other headlines that indicate a less-optimistic view of a recovery comes from nonwovens.com's weekly news, September 27, 2002. In "Raw Materials Producers Offer a Grim View of Recovery," (Reuters - September 24, 2002), it reports, "In a matter of only a few days, domestic raw materials producers have been ratcheting down earnings forecasts, aggravating fears a recovery for the struggling US economy may still be a long way off."

More news and information about the converting industry and the economy is available at paperloop.com and convertingloop.com. Learn more about CMM International at cmmshow.com.



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