German plastics packaging optimistic about 2018

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Above-average results in the past two years has resulted in a renewed sense of optimism within the German plastics packaging industry, according to a recent survey.

Conducted in Dec 2017 and participated in by 100 people, the survey, commissioned by German plastics packaging industry association IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. (IK), found that 90% of companies questioned rated the current economic situation as good.

“This is a significant rise in the percentage of confident views compared to the beginning of 2017 when 70% of IK members rated the economic environment as good,” the association added.

Survey respondents also rated their own sales expectations more positively for the first quarter of 2018, while their assessment of export remained pretty much the same as 2017.

Almost 60% of respondent also said they expected higher raw materials prices, which could affect the price development of plastics packaging.

“The profit situation, however, remains tense,” the IK survey added.

According to IK, the results of the survey show “a renewed increase in expectations among companies after the two previous years had delivered above-average results.”

However, commenting on the findings of the survey, IK general manager Ulf Kelterborn warned that the “promising” forecast should not obscure the fact that Germany, as an economic location, was faced with “growing threats”.

“Besides the still unresolved problem of high electricity costs, Germany now needs to prepare for even stronger international tax competition,” he pointed out.

Kelterborn pointed to corporate tax cuts in the US, which he said had led to calls for corresponding tax reforms from China and other industrial nations.

“The effective tax burden for companies in Germany of over 28% is already too high comparatively and urgently needs to be corrected,” he added.

Other locational risks, the IK said, were the “increasing skills shortage” and in the spatial and digital infrastructure.

These factors, warned the IK, could worsen and hinder growth “faster than expected”. 

“A viable government needs to make forward-looking decisions in this area as soon as possible,” the IK concluded. 

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