United States predicted to dominate performance plastics

The market for North America engineering plastics is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 4 percent over the next five years, according to North America Engineering Plastics Market — Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts (2021-2026), a report by Research and Markets. The report indicates that the use of engineering plastics instead of traditional materials will be a major factor driving market growth, as will the use of plastics in green vehicles.

According to the report, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most used of the engineering plastics. Due to its broad mechanical and electrical properties, PET is often used to replace metals in motor housings, switches, sensors and other electrical applications. PET and polyolefins are the most widely used materials in the plastic packaging industry. Some of the major properties of PET as a packaging material are recyclability, strength and versatility, which drive the demand for these products.

The report predicts that the United States will continue to dominate the engineering plastics market. Application of engineering plastics is found in the electronics, construction, automotive, medical and various other industries. The United States is the second largest economy for electronics in the world and is also among one of the top markets for medical, automotive and construction, globally. The country’s expenditure in healthcare stood at approximately US$3.7 trillion in 2018, which is expected to increase. The increasing geriatric population and the growing requirement for medical facilities for the treatment of chronic diseases have been supporting the growth of the healthcare sector, as well as the consumption of engineering plastics in the country during the forecast period. In terms of size, the electronics market in the United States is the largest market. Owing to the usage of advance technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), increasing number of research and development centers and rising demand from consumers, the demand for PEEK and polycarbonate (PC) are expected to grow over the forecast period. Such growth trends in the country are expected to boost the demand for engineering plastics at a moderate rate in the future.

The report, North America Engineering Plastics Market — Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact and Forecasts (2021-2026), is available from

Equipment finance new business volume up 20 percent year-over-year

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the US$900 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for August was US$8.5 billion, up 21 percent year-over-year from new business volume in August 2020. Volume was down 14 percent month-to-month from US$9.9 billion in July. Year-to-date, cumulative new business volume was up 10 percent compared to 2020. Receivables over 30 days were 1.8 percent, down from 1.9 percent the previous month and down from 2.4 percent in the same period in 2020. Charge-offs were 0.23 percent, up from 0.18 percent the previous month and down from 0.75 percent in the year-earlier period. Credit approvals totaled 76.3 percent, down from 76.5 percent in July. Total headcount for equipment finance companies was down 14.1 percent year-over-year, a decrease due to significant downsizing at an MLFI reporting company. Separately, the Equipment Leasing and Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) in September was 60.5, a decrease from the August index of 66.6.

ELFA President and CEO Ralph Petta said, “August data show some softness in equipment demand resulting from a mix of summer doldrums, continued supply chain disruptions and lingering pandemic-related woes. Business optimism, which peaked earlier in the summer, also has waned somewhat. However, when compared to where the economy and equipment finance business were a year ago, with the COVID-19 virus raging throughout the country, August new business volume is wholly acceptable.”

Jeffrey Hilzinger, president and CEO, Marlin Capital Solutions, said, “2021, while much better than 2020, continues to be a challenging period for the equipment finance industry. While demand for equipment remains strong, August was the second consecutive month of reduced origination volume for the industry. Supply chain issues continue to be a key driver underlying this trend and seem to have worsened in recent months. On the positive side, approval rates have remained at pre-COVID levels and portfolio delinquencies and charge-offs remain at historically low levels.”

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey. The latest MLFI-25, including methodology and participants, is available at

Plastics Industry Association report shows continued growth

The Plastics Industry Association 2021 Size and Impact Report indicates that the U.S. plastics industry remains one of the largest sectors of the American economy and continues on a strong growth path. The report indicates that the U.S. plastics industry accounted for US$394.7 billion in shipments in 2020 and 945,300 jobs. When suppliers to the U.S. plastics industry are included, the total shipments figure balloons to US$541.5 billion and 1.55 million jobs. According to the most recent data, the plastics industry is the eighth largest industry in America.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a thriving U.S. economy affecting many industries including plastics,” said Perc Pineda, PhD, chief economist of the Plastics Industry Association. “This resulted in an estimated 0.9 percent decrease in the real value of shipments in plastics manufacturing. The marginal downtick in shipments reflects the capacity and commitment of the plastics industry to meet the demands of the manufacturing and consumer sectors, particularly in a stressful macroeconomic environment.”

The annual report features data on U.S. plastics manufacturing, plastics industry employment and the outlook for plastics domestically. This year’s report showed the plastics industry’s continued, multi-decade track record of strength when compared to the overall U.S. manufacturing sector. Since 1997, the U.S. plastics industry has outpaced all of U.S. manufacturing in terms of growth in real shipments, real value added, productivity growth and employment. The report includes state-level data and insights that demonstrate the industry’s geographic footprint. State highlights include Texas being home to the largest number of plastics employees with 70,500. The plastics industry is also important for employment across the industrial Midwest. In Indiana, jobs in plastics account for 15.6 of every 1,000 non-farm jobs. Wisconsin is a close second in this regard, with 14.9 of every 1,000 non-farm jobs being in plastics, followed by Michigan and Ohio.

According to the report, the outlook for the plastics industry for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 will be linked to the global economic recovery. The global economic slowdown related to the coronavirus pandemic underscored the importance of a well-functioning global supply chain. The plastics industry could continue to face labor and supply chain-related headwinds ahead. The 2021 Size and Impact Report and an executive summary are available for download at