The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI ) said that it has updated its 2008 US Packaging Machinery Purchasing Plans Study as a result of the current economic climate.
The Institute has issued a revised forecast, predicting an increase of 0.4 per cent on 2007 spending, which is a reduction of 0.2 per cent on its initial forecast, and brings its anticipated packaging equipment spend to $6.292bn, just slightly less than the $6.304bn predicted earlier in the year.
PMMI claims that this is the first time it has issued an update to its purchasing plans study, which provides a guide to the key trends affecting US packaging equipment purchasing.
The food and beverage sector accounts for 59 per cent of the annual purchases from PMMI's members.
Larger firms affected
The Institute asked respondents from the initial survey to reexamine their purchasing plans in light of spiraling raw material and energy costs.
The updated study shows that large-sized companies (more than 25 packaging lines) have the highest rate of cutbacks.
It said that 55.6 per cent of those surveyed online and by telephone interview in April and May, said they would not be making any change to their budgets for the year, 21.9 per cent said they have scaled back and the remaining 22.5 per cent said they have revised their budgets higher.
"The packaging machinery market's performance seems to be in line with today's broader economic picture and the slowness all industries are facing right now," stated the PMMI.
Of the study's respondents who are planning to purchase packaging machinery this year, 48.3 per cent said that sustainability was a key reason for the investment, with a growing focus on issues such as energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as well as material waste.
End users are also demanding additional flexibility in machinery to handle a widening range of packaging requirements, including more changeovers, with a minimum of downtime, claims the report.
A growing variety of package sizes, shapes, and configurations on packaging lines as well as product shelf life and quality are also influencing purchasing factors, states the report.
An emphasis on product safety, security, tracking and labelling is also a key trend for packaging machinery spending, claims the report.