We’re in the final quarter of 2015 and it’s once again time to consult the manufacturing crystal ball to see if 2016 holds promise for those of us in the nonwoven manufacturing arena.
Growth in 2015 so far has been fairly steady in most areas with an overall manufacturing growth rate of 2.1%. Market segment growth includes 11% in new housing, 9% in motor vehicles and 2% in medical equipment and supplies. Many manufacturing markets didn’t experience huge growth numbers but it’s certainly good to see numbers on the plus side overall
According to Dan Meckstroth, vice president and chief economist for The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) has stated, “"Manufacturing industrial production has to grow another 3.4% in order to reach the pre-recession production level achieved in December 2007—that’s at least another year of manufacturing industrial production growth."
Some things from the MAPI outlook that could positively affect the nonwovens marketing in 2016 include:
- Automotive production remains strong and, due to still-low gas prices, favors the large domestic vehicles. That means more nonwoven fabrics per vehicle since those interiors are so roomy! Production growth is expected to be around 7% in 2016 and flatten in 2017.
- The new housing market is expected to grow quickly and at a whopping 18%. Nonwoven materials in construction and in household materials like furniture should rise in demand accordingly.
- The HVAC, ventilation and commercial refrigeration equipment markets are expected to grow around 5%. This could mean good things for nonwoven materials in segments like filtration production.
Overall, it appears that the manufacturing outlook for 2016 is a positive one. Manufacturing growth as a whole stimulates the economy. A robust economy needs plenty of nonwoven fabrics in all types of market segments. That can only mean good things for nonwovens manufacturing.