Board Converting News, March 29, 2021

NAM: Manufacturing Outlook At Highest Level In Two Years


In the latest NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 87.6 percent of respondents said they feel either somewhat or very positive about their company’s outlook, the highest level in two years, according to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at the The National Association of Manu- facturers (NAM). The outlook bounced back from the 33.9 percent reading in the second quarter of 2020, which was the worst reading since the Great Recession. Medium and large manufacturers were more upbeat in their outlook than smaller firms. Roughly two-thirds of manufacturers expect to return to pre-pandemic levels of revenue by the end of 2021, with one-third saying that their revenues had recovered by the end of 2022. Cited by 76.2 percent of respondents, rising raw mate- rial costs topped the list of primary business challenges in the first quarter. Although 65.8 percent of those complet- ing the survey consider the inability to attract and retain talent as their top challenge, this issue dropped to second place. Producer prices for final demand goods rose 1.4 per- cent in February, matching the record monthly pace seen in January. Excluding food and energy, producer prices for final demand goods increased 0.3 percent in February. Costs for transportation and warehousing rose 1.1 percent in February, extending the 1.3 percent gain seen in Janu- ary. Over the past 12 months, producer prices for final de- mand goods and services jumped from 1.7% year-over- year in January to 2.8% in February, the biggest increase since October 2018. Likewise, core producer prices have risen 2.2 percent since February 2020, up from 1.9 per- cent in January and the fastest pace since May 2019. While consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in February, the fastest monthly gain in six months, pricing pressures at the consumer level have stabilized in recent months. Core inflation increased 1.3 percent year-over-year in February, down from 1.4 percent in the prior report. It will be inter- esting to see how this will impact consumer prices moving forward, at least in the short-term, with raw material costs rising more sharply. The January survey reported 515,000 manufacturing job openings. Over the past six months, postings in the sector have averaged more than 505,000 each month, including October’s reading, which hit a record high at 545,000. These data offer an encouraging sign that man- ufacturers are confident enough in the economic outlook for their businesses to post new jobs. In the larger economy, nonfarm business job openings increased to 6,917,000 in January, a 12-month high and the best reading since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Jan- uary’s postings translate to 1.46 unemployed workers for every one job opening in the U.S. economy.


Serving the corrugated box industry since 1991, Chicago- based Corrugator Belt Service LLC maintains corru- gator belts for peak board quality and performance.

C.U.E., INC. www.Anvi

Makers of single and dual-width Timesaver® Anvil Covers, the premier urethane anvil cover for corrugated die cutting. Timesaver® covers feature a unique construction of solid steel backing and solid steel locking components to ensure a precise fit every time – a vital dependability difference that means seamless installation and a perfect cutting sur- face. C.U.E., Inc. also offers Dura-Latch and Cor-Lock anvil covers, in addition to urethane Lead Edge Feed Wheels.


The EMBA group supports a complete line of corrugated converting machinery for the worldwide market. EMBA’s Quick Set technology enables the highest productivity across a broad range of converting equipment, from mini to super jumbo. EMBA also includes the McKinley jumbo line of flexo folder gluers and rotary die cutters as well as ser- vice, rebuilds and upgrades for both EMBA and McKinley.


Eaglewood Technologies is the Anilox Roll Cleaning Ex- pert! We provide the award winning Sitexco Laser Systems, Sanilox™ Systems and Sani-Blast™ Mobile Service. All our systems are safe for the environment and provide proven tested results! Sitexco Laser Systems are the latest technol- ogy in anilox roll cleaning and are perfect for packaging and label printers. Sanilox™ Systems are the global standard of reliable, environmentally safe anilox roll cleaning.


ArtiosCAD and Kongsberg are the most trusted names in CAD/CAM solutions. Esko’s ArtiosCAD is the most widely used CAD software in the world. Esko’s Kongsberg series of tables brings you reliable, outstanding quality for sample- making and short run production.


American manufacturers of split heads, patented roll- er-bearing yokes, gang-slot upgrades, custom rebuilds, and glue systems with electronically-geared speed monitoring. Visit our website for information, tips and techniques.


March 29, 2021

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